After decades of exploitation, captive dolphins will no longer be commercially bred or imported into the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW).
Condemnation of dolphin shows has increased globally, with conservation bodies and animal welfare organizations calling for better protection for these sensitive, curious creatures with human-like emotions.
Throughout history, dolphins have been plucked from the wild and confined to marine parks, forced to live in inhumane barren tanks, unable to fully meet their physical and emotional needs, and made to perform tricks for cheering crowds. That’s about to change.
In a mammoth win for marine conservation, NSW environment minister Matt Kean has introduced new laws to the Biodiversity Conservation Act. Dolphin shows across the state have been banned, along with the breeding of whales and porpoises for commercial use.
The move came after an inquiry was launched into dolphin parks and circuses, with Animal Justice Party MP Emma Hurst welcoming the end to dolphin “abuse-ment” parks.
The new regulations have been welcomed with open arms by Network for Animals (NFA). “It’s about time that the tide turns against using marine mammals in captivity for entertainment,” said David Barritt of NFA.
“We applaud NSW for finally catching up with the global movement to protect these animals and hope that the rest of the world will follow suit and commit to ending dolphin shows and encounters. Dolphins are intelligent, wild animals. They belong in the wild, not bred in captivity for entertainment.”