Unfortunately for the captive dolphins in France, a national ban that put an end to breeding orcas and dolphins in captivity has been repealed.
Signed into law last May by former Minister of the Environment Ségolène Royal, the ban was designed along the same lines as the California Orca Protection Act, which ultimately forced SeaWorld to announce the phasing out of their orca program.
In both cases, these bans were put into place due to the obvious suffering and cruelty that cetaceans undergo during forced insemination – which, for females, is tantamount to rape. In addition to this, as happens to cows and other female animals in farms, their young can be removed from them for life; and as soon as they have given birth, they are often inseminated again, year after year. Mothers are forced to endure the tragedies of calf deaths and separation, and the indignity of being treated as breeding machines for the profit of companies.
Ultimately, France’s highest court cancelled the ban due to “irregularities” in the decree that put the legislation into place. Some are hopeful that it can be reinstated after these issues are resolved.
The captivity industry, which had requested that the ban be revoked, lauded the decision. “This is great news for our animals,” said Pascal Picot, chief executive of Marineland Antibes in southern France, the largest marine park in Europe.
In reality, it is great news for Picot’s company, not animals; the dolphins will continue to suffer until a new ban is instated. But, with captivity facilities and organizations around the world working towards permanent retirement facilities for cetaceans, it is hopefully only a matter of time before this happens.
Photo by Reuters / Eric Gaillard.