Coming after the good news a captive dolphin in South Korea will be released back into the ocean, is an even better development for dolphins. The Swiss senate has passed provisions which will block the importing of dolphins and other cetaceans.
Their House of Representatives approved a ban on keeping captive dolphins, but the Senate chose to pursue a ban on importing them, which would mean when the dolphins living there now pass away, no new ones will be acquired so none will exist in captivity.
“I am pleased that keeping animals in this kind of way is viewed across party lines as unacceptable and to be banned,” said Antoine Goetschel, a Swiss lawyer. (Source: Reuters)
What prompted the legislature to consider banning dolphins in captivity was an incident at an amusement park which caused dolphins to die needlessly. Eight dolphins were reported to have passed away at the park just in the last several years.
Wild dolphins don’t belong in captivity. Because they can swim 40 miles a day or more in the open ocean, putting them in small concrete pools is something like a form of torture. Not only do they swim long distances in ocean habitats, they are intelligent, curious, playful creatures that constantly explore their surroundings. Human-made pools–homogenous, tiny containers–lack the normal biodiversity wild dolphins interact with in the ocean.
As the WSPCA says, “In contrast, captive dolphins are forced to swim in endless circles in artificial habitats, interact with unfamiliar dolphins and other species, eat dead fish, and perform behaviors that are unnatural and in some cases painful. Captive dolphins also face exposure to human infection and bacteria, chemicals such as chlorine, and suffer from stress-related illnesses.” (Source: Care2.com)
Image Credit: pelican, WikiCommons