This past weekend marked what many believe to be a historic turning point for not only the people of France but for the animals.
The headline-making news that France had elected a new President with the monumental win of Emmanuel Macron was reported worldwide.
The same weekend, another major victory came as the country banned the breeding in captivity of dolphins and orcas!
As per the Telegraph, French environment minister Segolene Royal signed a previous version of the legislation on Wednesday. The legislation introduced “tight controls on the reproduction of dolphins”, but subsequently decided that the rules needed to be “more radical” after learning “some animals were drugged” in aquariums, her ministry told AFP.
The ban applies to the captivity of any whales, dolphins, and porpoises, except for orcas and bottlenose dolphins already held in authorized aquariums.
“In plain terms, this means the end of breeding, exchange and import programs,” five conservation groups including One Voice & Sea Shepherd, which called the move “historic” noted in a joint statement. “Without possible replenishment, this quite simply means the scheduled end of marine circuses on our territory.”
According to the ministry, the new rules 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 prohibition of using chlorine when treating the water, and the cease of any direct contact between animals and the public.
Air France Magazine
As animal activists celebrated the news, the association of French zoos expressed anger that they had not been consulted before the ban was enacted.
An outraged John Kershaw, the head of the Marineland Antibes dolphin show park in southern France, called the government’s decision a “bombshell” to local media outlets.
Water parks and aquariums have six months to adhere to the new rules and must expand their pools within three years.
This game changing news, according to the Independent, came a little more than one year after SeaWorld announced the birth of their last killer whale, and ultimately, following years of protests by animal activists and declining ticket sales, its decision to stop breeding orcas altogether.
Unfortunately, both SeaWorld San Antonio, Texas, and Orlando, Florida are not expected to end their shows until 2019.
As France ushers in a new President, WAN joins animal activists throughout the world in applauding their decision in phasing out animals used in entertainment. Let Them Be Free!
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