After several months of discussion between associations, the French government, delphinariums and the National Natural History Museum, Segolene Royal (the Secretary of Environment) finally took the decision concerning cetaceans by signing a bylaw on Wednesday May 3rd.
Published this Saturday May 6th in the Journal Officiel, it replaces the 1981 law in order to propose new standards for the well-being of the animal and is a good surprise: one of the goal is to forbid the reproduction of orcas and dolphins held captive in France.
The last ones were not expected to be on the list and were secretly added at the last moment by the Secretary. According to the bylaw:
The reproduction of orcas and dolphins currently held in France is forbidden from now on. Only orcas and dolphins currently and regularly held can be kept without having new births.
This means that parks will not be able to acquire new orcas or dolphins in the future. This announcement is good for the cetaceans’ protection held captive in aquatic parks such as Marineland, Asterix Park, Planète Sauvage (Wild Planet), or Moora Dolphin Center.
Here are some details, the concerned institutions will have to follow these rules within 3 years:
Stop using chlorine in pools: this measure will end the ocular and skin problems for orcas and dolphins.
The minimal pool surface for orcas will be 3500 sqm and 2000 sqm for dolphins, which means an increase of at least 150% compared to the law in 1981 which was 800 sqm. The depth of the pool will now be 11 m for orcas and 6 m for dolphins.
Have specialized caring teams proportional to the number of cetacean.
Prohibit contact between the audience and animals: swimming with dolphins will not possible anymore.
Anticipate animal enrichments: waves, waterfall and other systems to allow cetaceans to be entertained and alert.
Stop the animals’ stranding for show.
End the night shows and sound and lighting effect provoking stress to the animal.
This bylaw is a real step forward to end the captivity of cetacean, used for shows viewed by numerous visitors. It was time to take real measures, it is important to be aware that these animals live in conditions that are not in accordance with their natural, real needs both physically and psychologically. Before thinking of the show and “eyes’ pleasure” to the benefit of establishments, we should think about what is right: right for nature and for the animal in front of us. Therefore we welcome this initiative and I would like to call the public awareness, first concerned by these show offers, source of numerous animals captivity.
Lisa Rispal, EVI founder.