Cetacean Legislation by Country

Many countries have legislation/laws in place with regards to the keeping of cetaceans or banning their public display.  Below are several examples for reference.

18 March 2019 – Ministerial Decree to amend various stipulations of the Ministerial Decree of 3 May 1999 on the establishment of minimum standards for keeping mammals in <zoos>

3.1.11. Cetaceans (Cetacea) 192/EEO/2003 Regulations for housing captive cetaceans – came into effect in 31.03.2003 (currently under review)
Unofficial English Translation

March 25, 2004 – Legislation for Keeping of Cetaceans

Bundesnaturschutzgesetz (Federal Nature Conservation Act)
BMEL (Agricultural Ministry) Guideline for Zoo animals including dolphins
(note, the BMEL document are guidelines only and not legally binding)

Law 4039/2012 and 4235/2014 (articles 12, 13, 14) – banning animal performances in the country.

Legislative Decree 21 March 2005, n. 73
Implementation of Directive 1999/22 / EC relating to the keeping of wild animals in zoos
Amendments to regulations: 28 May 2015 and 20 December 2017

Ban on swimming with dolphins in captivity
Implementation of Directive 1999/22/EC on the keeping of wild animals in zoos. (17A08711)

Animal Protection Act 2017
Nature Conservation Act; 17 January 2018
Minister of Environment Protection of Species; 28 December 2016
Minister of Environment Conditions for Keeping and Husbandry of Captive Animals; 20 December 2004

SJVFS 2009:92, L 108, Kap 7 – Legislation regarding the keeping of dolphins and whales in captivity

Animal Protection Law 2012

1990 Supplement to the Secretary of State’s Standards Of Modern Zoo Practice
(Additional Standards for UK Cetacean Keeping)

*Denotes countries which currently have no facilities holding captive cetaceans but do have legislation in place regarding their keeping and husbandry.



USA – California
Orca Protection Act 2017