New Bill to end advertising of animal-related experiences

Several members of the Dolphinaria-Free Europe Coalition have been supporting the Animals (Low Welfare Activities Abroad) Bill in the UK, aimed at protecting captive animals abroad used for entertainment. The Bill has just passed its final stage and when law in England and Northern Ireland, will mean that tour operations such as TUI and Jet2 will be prohibited from advertising facilities abroad to their customers which display captive animals. We will report further once the Bill becomes law.

A brief outline of the Bill can be found here

Light a candle for Lolita/Tokitae

The death of the orca known as Lolita at Miami Seaquarium on 18 August was a cause for deep sadness for us all at Dolphinaria-Free Europe and many of our member organisations who have, over the years, been campaigning for her not to end her life in a tank.  Sadly this was the case, she was never given the chance to retire to her home waters.

Our member Marine Connection, has been involved in the campaign with colleagues over the years and is asking everyone to light a candle in memory of this amazing orca on Sunday 27 August when an event will take place in Friday Harbour, San Juan Island.

Further details including a link to the live stream can be found here.

Dutch rail company cuts ties with Dolfinarium Harderwijk

NS, the largest passenger rail transport company in the Netherlands is cutting ties with Dolfinarium Harderwijk. At the end of September 2023, passengers will no longer be able to purchase a combination ticket, including entry to the Dolfinarium, which displays marine mammals including bottlenose dolphins.

Following an investigation in 2015 by the Ministry of Agriculture and Nature, a report found that the dolphins at the facility were being used for performances that were deemed entertainment having no educational value and although the dolphins no longer perform tricks as such for the paying public, they are still made to perform in shows. In late 2021, a Netherlands judge blocked the Dolphinarium from moving eight of its dolphins, two walruses and two sea lions to a marine park in China.

DFE European Parliament Event available now

On 28 June 2023, Dolphinaria-Free Europe met with Members of the European Parliament at an event hosted by MEPs Francisco Guerreiro and Pascal Durand, to discuss why captivity is not a suitable environment for whales, dolphins, and porpoises and why the coalition wants legislation prohibiting the exploitation and display cetaceans across the European Union, including ending their breeding and importation.

A background on DFE was given by the Chair of the coalition, Margaux Dodds (Marine Connection),  followed by presentations from Dr Naomi Rose (Animal Welfare Institute), Nick Stewart (World Animal Protection), Dr Ingrid Visser (Orca Research Trust), Matthew Spiegl (Free Morgan Foundation), Muriel Arnal (One Voice), Olga Kikou (Compassion In World Farming) and Sofia Esteves da Silva (PhD Student). The meeting concluded with a public Q&A session.

The two-hour live-streamed session is available below.

Speaking out for captive dolphins in Europe

Today on World Day for Captive Dolphins, all members of Dolphinaria-Free Europe commit to continue to call for the phasing out of facilities holding captive dolphins and whales throughout Europe, aiming that this generation of captive cetaceans is the last.

New Policy Brief outlines proposals to phasing out dolphinaria in the EU

Never has there been more need for ending the breeding and trade of captive dolphins and whales.  At a recent event in the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium hosted by MEP Francisco Guerreiro to discuss why captivity is not a suitable environment for cetaceans, Dolphinaria-Free Europe launched its policy brief “Safe and Thriving Whales and Dolphins in the European Union – a How-To Guide”, which outlines the coalition’s legislative proposals to the European Union for ensuring the wellbeing of all captive whales and dolphins in the EU.

The coalition also addresses conditions in which cetaceans are currently held throughout Europe.  DFE believes it’s vital that the EU embark upon a plan to phase out dolphinaria, and that the current population of captive cetaceans should be the last generation in the EU.

You can access our Policy Brief here