I’m usually happy when authorities tighten up zoo legislations around the world. For all of us zoos it’s better to be on an equivalent level when it comes to animal welfare. For the first time I have seen authorities creating laws in order to lower the animal welfare with the intention to close the parks. These laws are being used as a tool to get rid of certain species in captivity and to undermine the purpose of zoos in general.
It is of great importance to see the breeding ban on dolphins as a large threat to not only the marine parks but to the zoo community as a whole. Not convinced? Here is why.
Politicians have started to make more irrational decisions based on emotional, populistic arguments instead of leaning against research and facts. In the long term this could damage the whole zoo community. By making it illegal to breed and keep some species in zoos, authorities say we are incapable of taking care of these species. It is unfortunate that the authorities instead don’t higher the requirements of keeping the species, this would not only help to higher animal welfare, but also force us to be on our toes.
What if politicians one day decided that you are unable to fulfill your tigers needs, regardless what ever you do to improve?
The decisions made in France and Mexico will greatly lower the animal welfare of cetaceans, both in long term and in short term. The animals will not thrive as they do today and for that the parks will have to pay a high prize later on. It will also question our important role as a center for conservation and education. It is of great importance that zoos and marine parks, zookeepers and trainers keep together. Because if we start to make a distinction between marine mammals and other zoo animals, we will face problems. Stand up for great animal welfare and conservation in zoos, marine parks and aquaria all over the world – regardless of species.
See you soon again,