Celebrities have backed the banning of adverts for attractions abroad which abuse elephants whose “future is threatened by ruthless commercial exploitation”.
The Animals (Low-Welfare Activities Abroad) Bill will have its third reading in the House of Lords on Monday.
Conservationist Chris Packham said: “The brutality to Asian elephants in tourism is often described as the worst animal cruelty of all. We destroy these wondrous species at our peril. I utterly support this great breakthrough to ban adverts for unethical resorts and practices.”
Save The Asian Elephants (STAE) has found at least 1,200 UK firms promoting 277 overseas venues with the giants allegedly “broken in by torture” for tourists’ enjoyment.
Former member of European parliament Stanley Johnon said: “The Bill is of enormous and potentially historic importance for the protection of the numerous besieged species whose future is threatened by ruthless commercial exploitation across the world.”
The Bill will also protect other threatened species, including monkeys and dolphins.
The Daily Express has championed calls for a ban on adverts which puts species across the globe at risk of harm.
Actor Bill Roache said: “If people knew what these majestic beings have been put through for their entertainment they would be horrified.
“Get the information out there and let’s now use this brilliant law to stop this abuse by banning these adverts for such horrible places as soon as possible.”
Duncan McNair, chief executive of STAE, said the Bill promises a “huge step change” for the welfare of the world’s endangered and exploited species.
He added: “Successful implementation will require political will in the UK and in other nations where violent and brutal animal tourism prospers.
“Governments must act decisively to enforce the bans robustly, steering the market from extreme cruelty to ethical practices, from hellholes to genuine sanctuaries and wildlife reserves.”