Loro Parque’s statement on the new French law on animal welfare

In relation to the law passed by the French National Assembly last Friday, 26th January, Loro Parque hereby states that unfortunately the line of this new legislation, which by its nature should defend the fundamental principles of animal welfare, in reality, has very little to do with them.

What is more, it is a purely political decision that does not even take into account the opinions of the subject-matter experts of the French Ministry. Thus, the Minister for Ecological Transition has been asked on several occasions by some MEPs to make public the report drawn up by her Ministry’s officials, which was intended to assess the state of cetaceans in French dolphinaria over the last two years. However, the minister refused to present it. For what reason, we ask? Simply because the report confirmed the optimal animal welfare and the perfect conditions, in which cetaceans are kept in French zoological institutions.

What we find truly disturbing is the fact that the minister’s arguments, like the proposed law, were simply false myths lacking any scientific basis or foundation. The clear anti-zoo agenda was also evidenced by the ignoring of all the scientifically backed arguments that were put forward by those parliamentarians who objected to the inclusion of cetaceans in the law.

The manifesto of the hundreds of scientists who signed the letter from the European Association for Aquatic Mammals (EAAM) in support of research activities in marine mammal facilities was also ignored:

Declaración de científicos en apoyo a las actividades de investigación en las instalaciones de mamíferos marinos

The Minister’s statements can be “debunked” in a few minutes with all the argumentation concentrated in the following Encyclopedia that is based on hundreds of scientific publications and reports produced and available to the public for years.

For us, it is more than clear that neither the minister, nor any of the promoters of this law, have stopped to think carefully about the suffering that will now be caused to all the dolphins that will now have to be separated into groups according to their sex and most probably also subjected to contraceptive treatments that produce side effects that will affect them for the rest of their lives. Not to mention the fact that the animals will have to be divided into groups because no single zoo will be able to take on the responsibility of caring for so many dolphins on its own.

Anyone who imagines that any of these animals will ever live in a sanctuary is delusional. As we have stated on many occasions, marine mammal sanctuaries do not exist. Take for example the case of the beluga whale sanctuary project in Iceland, where within weeks of being released into the bay, the animals had to be moved back to their much-reduced indoor facilities; under the pretext, that they could be better cared for. So, the tale of sanctuaries is not so nice and perfect after all?

So, therefore, we appeal to the common sense of true animal and nature lovers and protectors to speak out against this authentic crime against cetaceans born and kept under human care in modern zoos and dolphinariums.

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