On Saturday, France has prohibited the breeding of dolphins and killer whales except for orcas and bottlenose dolphins in captivity, in a move addressed by campaigners as a major victory. Along with whales and dolphins, porpoises will also be held. According to the ministry, “Environment Minister Segolene Royal had on Wednesday signed a version of the legislation introducing tight controls on the reproduction of dolphins.”
But according to her the rules needed to be “more radical” after learning “some animals were drugged” in aquariums. Hopefully, this move will ultimately bring an end to shows that are held involving the marine animals. Aquariums and water parks have three months to conform to the new rules and are asked to expand their pools within three years. He took this decision after the SeaWorld announced the last birth of a killer whale at its theme park after it decided to halt breeding orcas following animal rights activists.
Jon Kershaw, who heads the Marineland Antibes park in the French Riviera, told local media that government’s decision was a “bombshell” for many businesses like him. Protestors addressed the ban as a “historic French advance”. This literally means the end of breeding, exchange and import programmes,” five conservation groups including One Voice and Sea Shephard said in a joint statement. The new rules have also banned direct contact between the animals and the public that includes swimming with dolphins.
“Without possible replacement, this quite simply means the scheduled end of circuses of marine animals on our territory”, the ministry said. The new rules notably also require “an increase of at least 150 percent of pools to allow the animals to live in less proximity from visitors and other animals”, the ministry added, as well as banning chlorine in treating the water. Huge parks like Marineland Antibes that is the biggest attraction of its kind in Europe have faced growing disapproval in recent years over their animals living conditions.