MEDIA RELEASE: 10 APRIL 2021
MULTI-GROUP PROTEST DEMANDS AN END TO CAPTIVE DOLPHIN EXPLOITATION AT SEA WORLD
Animal protection groups say QLD must catch up with the rest of Australia and outlaw the breeding of dolphins for so-called ‘entertainment’
What: Protest to end the captive breeding and use of dolphins in circus-style shows by Sea World.
Who: 50+ local protesters, MP Emma Hurst (Animal Justice Party), Ben Pearson (World Animal Protection), Chay Neal (Animal Liberation Queensland), Angela Banovic (Dolphin Freedom Fighters), Animal Justice Party Queensland.
When: Saturday April 10th, 10am
Where: Sea World, Sea World Drive, Main Beach
Media Opportunities: Footage of chanting protesters with signs and placards, interviews with Emma Hurst MP, Ben Pearson, Chay Neal and Angela Banovic.
Animal protection groups are calling on QLD to ban the captive breeding and use of dolphins in circus-style shows, following new laws in NSW that effectively stop dolphin ‘abuse-ment’ parks. QLD is the only state in Australia where these highly intelligent animals are still being bred and born into a life of captivity and forced to perform for human entertainment.
Sea World is reported to have nearly 30 dolphins in captivity - many born and bred in the park - who perform tricks on a daily basis. But with increasing pressure to ban the exploitation of dolphins for human amusement, animal advocates from across Australia say that the days of seeing dolphins perform tricks in artificial pools are numbered.
From Emma Hurst MP (Animal Justice Party):
“New South Wales has introduced new laws that ensure the use of dolphins in so-called entertainment is effectively done and dusted. Queensland is now the only state in Australia still breeding dolphins for entertainment and we’re here today to tell the Queensland Government that urgent action is required to protect these animals.
“A dolphin born in captivity today could live for up to 50 years, meaning they could still be in an artificial enclosure being forced to do demeaning tricks in 2070. While NSW is working toward better protections for cetaceans in our state, Sea World on the Gold Coast continues breeding highly intelligent dolphins in artificial pools, so that they can make money from a dwindling number of spectators.
“A NSW Parliamentary inquiry heard that dolphinariums are a dying business model. People simply don’t want to see animals being humiliated. Urgent law reform in needed in Queensland to ensure animals aren’t being born into an industry likely to collapse in the next few years. It is simply irresponsible for the Government to turn a blind eye and not consider what will happen to these dolphins while Sea World loses its social licence.
From Ben Pearson (Head of Campaigns, World Animal Protection):
“We want these dolphins at Sea World to be the last generation kept captive for entertainment in Queensland.
“The only other dolphin venue in Australia, Dolphin Marine Conservation Park in New South Wales, recognises the changing public attitudes around dolphin captivity and is working with us and Action for Dolphins to establish a sea sanctuary for their remaining dolphins.
“This really goes to show that Sea World is out of touch with Australian society and a relic of the past.
From Chay Neal (Executive Director, Animal Liberation Queensland):
“Any place forcing animals to perform tricks certainly is not putting the animal's best interests first. The public would be horrified to know that over its 49 years of operation it has been estimated that hundreds of animals have died at Sea World. Disturbingly, no one will ever know the real number of casualties because Sea World isn’t required disclose this information – even to the Government.
“Sea World needs to get with the times. Animals have no place in captivity and there is no captive facility that can meet the natural behavioural needs of these animals. If Sea World had any credibility they would be well aware of this, cease their captive breeding program, only take in legitimate rescues where there is no other option, and none of these dolphins would be forced to perform for the public.
From Angela Banovic (Campaigner, Dolphin Freedom Fighters):
“Captive dolphins display aggressive and stereotypical behaviour unseen in the wild, including self-harm. These behaviours are evidence of the high stress levels these intelligent animals experience in captivity. The Queensland Government needs to catch up with the rest of Australia and recognise dolphins do not exist for our entertainment. It’s time to empty the tanks.
“It's 2021, the Australian public no longer wish to see wild animals being bred and used for entertainment purposes. Bottlenose dolphins are not threatened in nature therefore breeding dolphins is unethical, exploitative and completely unnecessary.
MEDIA CONTACT: ROSIE RAYNS, 0401 991 792