During the SATSA 2017 Conference we received a firm mandate from members to progress the development of inclusive compliance criteria regarding animal interactions. Inclusive for us means engaging a wide stakeholder audience (local and international) including key partners such as South African Tourism, who have a material interest in the matter.
As you know SATSA created a Board Sub-Committee to guide activities on this matter. The Sub-Committee has engaged and through the SATSA CEO, David Frost, a proposed project was raised at a meeting of the Collaborative Funding Committee on 6 February 2018 (a joint venture between South African Tourism and TOMSA – the levy collection mechanism). Feedback was positive, and funding was agreed based on some additional requirements being met.
SATSA has now developed and distributed a request for proposals for service providers to assist with defining the types of entities that fall within the ambit of animal interactions, developing an ethical framework to evaluate operations that involve animal interactions and developing a set of guidelines for the self-regulation of animal interaction tourism experiences.
The process set out will illicit input from all quarters and will not exclude any company or organisation that wishes to make an input on the subject.
Rest assured we are moving forward on this issue and will keep our members updated with information as and when it becomes available.