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. Harderwijk has now said that they will change the format of their shows for the dolphins and also plan to send eight of them, along with two sea lions and two walruses to Hainan Ocean Paradise, China.
Following our previous communications with Bernard Clerfayt, Minister for Animal Welfare in Brussels, we are delighted that a ban on keeping cetaceans in captivity has been passed for the Brussels Capital region. Copies of this legislation can be found here.
DFE is continuing to liaise with Ben Weyts and Victoria Austraet with regards to the proposal for a ban in the Flanders region, the only region with a facility holding captive dolphins (Boudewijn Sea Park in Bruges). The Animal Welfare Council are currently reviewing the proposal and we eagerly await their comments which will be produced in a study by early 2022.
Further to our last report regarding potential plans to move the remaining orcas from Marineland, Antibes to China, DFE member One Voice has been liaising with French authorities over this issue.
As France moves towards ending the display of cetaceans for entertainment, rumours are circulating that two Chinese parks are considering approaching facilities in several countries, including France, to obtain orcas which is very concerning and something that must be challenged.
Loro Parque has released their statement following the necropsy on Skyla which was undertaken by cetacean pathologists from the University of Las Palmas, Gran Canaria.
The cause of death is said to have been intestinal torsion, which was inoperable leading to acute septicemia, which would have led to her showing signs of suffering for several days prior to her death.
Loro Parque has reported on the death of 17-year old female orca, Skyla.
The young orca started showing some signs of discomfort a couple of days ago and died on 11 March at the facility. Having been brought to Spain from the SeaWorld USA in 2006, and before the arrival of Morgan from Harderwijk and the birth of her daughter Ula two years ago, Skyla was the youngest of the orcas at the park. Her death follows just four years after that of her father Tilikum, who died at SeaWorld, Orlando in January 2017.
Flemish Minister of Animal Welfare, Ben Weyts expects to come to a decision by next year on the keeping of dolphins in Belgium, if passed, this would result in the closure of Boudewijn Sea Park, the only facility in Belgium holding captive dolphins.
In August last year, Victoria Austraet, Member of the Brussels Parliament initially requested the government consider a ban be put in place to end the keeping of dolphins in captivity. Dolphinaira-Free Europe wrote to both Ms Austraet and Bernard Clerfayt, Minister for Animal Welfare in Brussels region, adding our support and are therefore delighted to learn that Minister Weyts is pushing for a decision to be made on this issue.