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.
As part of DFE’s ongoing efforts to address the issue of wild-caught harbour porpoises being held at Danish facility Fjord & Baelt for research purposes, a joint letter from Dolphinaria-Free Europe (DFE), and our member organisation World Animal Protection (WAP) Denmark, has been sent to Lea Wermelin, the Danish Minister for the Environment, and Rasmus Prehn, Danish Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, asking for an independent assessment to be undertaken of the two most recently acquired harbour porpoises at the facility to determine their suitability for a careful, monitored release back into the wild.
It is our belief that keeping porpoises for the purpose of research is not a valid reason to hold them captive. We are therefore asking for an end to granting exemption permits to Fjord & Baelt that legally authorise them to retain bycaught harbour porpoises. We are also asking the authorities to prohibit any future retention of ‘rescued’ or ‘bycaught’ porpoises at Fjord & Baelt.