Conservationists hail decision to ban dolphineriums

Panaji, May 18 (IANS) Animal conservationists have hailed the central government’s decision to ban dolphineriums in India, even as several states had been gearing up for parks and zoos with captive dolphins as the star attraction.

In a statement issued here Saturday, the Federation for Indian Animals Protection Organisations (FIAPO), an NGO which has been campaigning against captivity of dolphins, said that the circular issued by Central Zoo Authority of India (CZAI), was a victory for the endangered marine mammals.

“It is a huge victory for the dolphins. India has become a beacon of hope for the global movement to protect cetaceans from captivity. We thank Minister (Environment and Forests) Jayanthi Natarajan for setting the benchmark in animal protection for the world, by recognising that dolphins and indeed all cetaceans be seen as non-human persons,” FIAPO spokesperson Puja Mitra said.

The circular issued by the member secretary of the CZAI B.S. Bonal Friday admits that cetceans, a marine mammal group which includes dolphins, whales, porpoises, etc, “do not survive well in captivity” and their captivity could cause them extreme distress.

“State governments are advised to reject any such proposal for any dolphinerium to any person/persons, organisations, government agencies, private or public enterprises that involve import, capture of cetacean species,” Bonal said in his order.

People for Ethical Treatment of Animals as well as FIAPO have been campaigning for months against the proposed dolphinariums, which they claim cannot be set up without being cruel to the predator mammal.

Several state governments as well as private set-ups had been considering setting up of dolphineriums in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Goa, Noida and Maharashtra.

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