WHAT WE DO
Asian Captive Elephant Standards (ACES) is an independent enterprise providing elephant camps with the methodology, guidance and on-site support to ensure all captive elephants are receiving the highest level of welfare possible. Our experienced and dedicated team of professionals guide camps through the assessment and audit process.
Our elephant camp standards reflect the most updated and comprehensive developments of welfare for elephants in captivity and mahouts in southeast Asia.
Through research and expert advice, we believe that tourism can bring positive benefits to the captive elephant population, without compromising animal welfare or visitor health and safety. ACES has not and will never condone animal cruelty or inhumane practices towards captive elephants. But activities including elephant riding can be considered acceptable if performed under controlled conditions.
ACES guidelines have strict parameters surrounding many different activities, including practices that are considered unacceptable at all times.
The goal of ACES is to ensure that all captive elephants are receiving the highest level of welfare, veterinary and conservation care. This includes the rights and safety of all mahouts and camp staff.
Our standards work as complete guidelines for camps to create and maintain high living and working conditions for both elephants and people.
The ACES vision began in 2015. There was a clear need to improve elephant welfare in southeast Asian elephant camps. The creation of the initial camp guidelines was jointly undertaken by organisations including Travelife, the Asian Captive Elephant Working Group, Chiang Mai University and the Pacific Asian Tourism Association.
From this we have developed a set of over 190 strict camp criteria. All criteria have been independently validated by international specialists in elephant management, veterinary care and training.
The ACES team have visited over 40 camps throughout southeast Asia to test our standards and to gain experience in country legislation, elephant welfare concerns, national considerations and endangered species issues.
We are confident that our camp standards are adaptable to each elephant range nation and can provide essential guidance and support to all camps to improve elephant welfare and camp management.
Visitors to southeast Asia can be assured that a camp with ACES accreditation has met the highest level of elephant welfare available. Visitors should be able to enjoy their time with elephants, knowing that they are supporting a quality organisation.
We have a professional team of auditors to assess and monitor each camp, ensuring camps are always meeting our high standards.
ACES is a Thai-registered organisation. We do not accept donations, advertising fees or commissions. We maintain our independence and neutrality at all times.
Meet The Team
Elephant camp management specialist
Audit and accreditation advisor
Dr Ingrid Suter
Captive elephant researcher