POOR WELFARE CONDITIONS CAUSE DOLPHINARIUM CLOSURE
19 September 2013
Italy’s Rimini dolphinarium has been ordered to close by the Prosecutor’s Office, following failures to sufficiently care for their dolphins.
September: In the first ruling of its kind in Europe, the dolphinarium in the popular seaside resort of Rimini has been ordered to close following investigations by the Corpo Forestale (nature police) in July that revealed violations of the Italian zoo law and Penal Code.
Irregularities included: the administration of tranquilisers and hormonal therapies to the dolphins to reduce aggression and sexual behaviours; housing conditions which failed to provide for the physical and psychological requirements of the animals; no shade for the animals (in temperatures reaching 35oC this summer); an inadequate water cooling and cleaning system; a lack of necessary facilities to separate sick or quarantined animals; and an inadequate preventative and curative veterinary programme. In addition to closure, Rimini dolphinarium has been required to pay €18,000 in fines.
Rimini’s four bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), two males and two females, have been transferred to Genoa Dolphinarium, where they remain off-show, in quarantine.
Born Free Foundation and colleagues from Italian NGOs LAV, Marevivo and ENPA, who continue to work together on this issue, welcomed the news. “Our agenda in Italy is clear, together we are working to ensure all dolphinaria are compliant with national and European law, ensuring that the animals are provided with the best possible conditions, whilst we continue to campaign for an end to the keeping of dolphins in captivity”, said Daniel Turner, spokesperson for Born Free.
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