MoEF: No to Captive Dolphins
In an important victory for marine mammals, India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests has banned “dolphinariums” in the country.
On Monday, May 20, C. Samyukta, a wildlife campaign manager for the Humane Society International/India, said: “We are overjoyed that the ministry has enacted a ban on keeping dolphins in captivity for entertainment. The science shows captivity is not in the best interests of marine animals. Now, all states in India must follow the ministry’s policy and forbid the development of dolphinariums.”
The MoEF ban states that “state governments are advised to reject any proposal” for the creation of a dolphinarium. There has been widespread opposition to dolphinariums in India from animal protection groups such as HSI/India, Blue Cross of India, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, Earth Island Institute and others. This change in Indian governmental policy is also supported by the Animal Welfare Board of India and the Central Zoo Authority. Last January, the AWBI declared dolphinariums unlawful under India’s 1960 Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. The fisheries department in Punjab ordered all offices in the state to comply with the AWBI directive. HSI/India called the move by the federal government “progressive,” and strongly urged all states to comply with this week’s ban.