Dolphinaria-Free Europe is supporting plans being put forward by the Government in Brussels to introduce a ban on the keeping of cetaceans in captivity.
Brussels Minister for Animal Welfare, Bernard Clerfayt has proposed the bill, supported by Victoria Austraet, an independent member of Parliament of the Brussels-Capital Region.
The bill is currently in the draft phase and will now be presented to the socioeconomic council and to the Council of State for advice. When this has been done the draft bill can be presented to parliament to vote upon and if successful, this would mean that the keeping of dolphins or whales as attractions for public display would no longer be allowed.
Two beluga whales, Little White and Little Grey, have been transferred to a sanctuary site in Klettsvik Bay, Iceland, following their arrival in the country last year from an aquarium in Shanghai. The SEA LIFE TRUST Beluga Whale Sanctuary has been established in partnership with DFE member Whale and Dolphin Conservation.
Further to our recent report that the dolphins from Barcelona Zoo had been moved to Attica Park, Greece, it has come to our attention that the female bottlenose dolphin known as Veera has been moved by Attica to Oltremare, Italy.
Veera, along with two male dolphins (Eeveretti and Leevi), was moved to Attica in 2016 from Tampereen Särkänniemi in Finland who announced they would close their dolphinarium in October 2015. This latest move means that she has now been separated from her son, Eeveretti, born in 1996 whom Attica has retained.
In 2018 Barcelona city pledged it would be free of captive cetaceans, this decision was the result of a two-year campaign. Over that period, discussions took place on whether the dolphin facility at the city’s zoo would be expanded or an alternative found for the dolphins held there. In 2016 two of the dolphins were moved to L’Oceanografic, Valencia, and since that time plans for the future of the remaining three dolphins were discussed, however more recently authorities in Barcelona favoured them being sent to Attica Zoological Park in Greece.
Dolphinaria-Free Europe opposed this plan because Greek law states no animal should be used for performance yet despite this ruling and although their license was suspended earlier this year, the authorities have surprisingly overturned this suspension and issued Attica with a new license, on the proviso that the dolphins are not used for shows/feeding sessions but are allowed to be on display.
The dolphins from Barcelona Zoo have now been transferred to Attica Park, officials say this was due to the fact that the park could offer the dolphins more adequate conditions. Previously Greece CITES rejected the request to transfer the dolphins, therefore the fact that this has now been authorised to take place is extremely disappointing.
Dolphinaria-Free Europe is now addressing the conditions behind this turn around with the license that allowed the transfer to take place and the future for the dolphins at Attica Park.
The male calf born on 8 June to Amtan at Planete Sauvage, France has died. The park has reported the cause of death to be a heart defect/malfunction.
This is the second calf to have died at the park since 2016 when Aicko, another male calf died. Planete Sauvage has never given any definite reason for the cause of death and the dolphin’s body was quickly sent to an animal disposal unit.
We will report more detailed information on the recent death if and when this is released by the park itself.