Keeping dolphins in captivity must eventually disappear in Belgium. Animal rights minister Ben Weyts said on Belgian television this Sunday. At the moment his country has another dolphinarium: the Boudewijn Seapark in Bruges. The owner of this place is also responsible for the Dolphinarium in Harderwijk. This is in line with a petition recently initiated in the Netherlands by a handful of animal rights advocates and demanded that the Netherlands be "free of dolphinarium". The petition has been signed more than 3,000 times.
The Bite Back Foundation, the Animal Conscious Life Foundation and the Fish Protection Association want to pay more attention to the welfare of marine mammals. Dolphins, but also orcas, suffer greatly from the restrictive conditions of amusement parks such as the dolphinarium. Alex Romijn, spokesman for the "Dolfinarium-free Netherlands" campaign, welcomes the statements of the Belgian Minister:
We welcome the intention of the Belgian Minister for Animal Welfare and hope that concrete action will follow soon. Belgium is not alone. Previously, Croatia, India, Costa Rica and Chile banned the keeping of dolphins in captivity. In Canada, politicians are currently considering a ban on breeding and importing so that dolphinariums will eventually disappear. Other countries have already restricted the breeding and transport of marine mammals.
The organizations are opposed to the idea that dolphins are presented in amusement parks as game potatoes that you can use as a surfboard if you want. As a visitor one would almost forget that they are highly intelligent, wild animals, they write in a statement. "In Delphinaria these animals live a desolate life. Dolphins have access to less than 0.000001
CC Photo: Gert Jan Kole