- Philippine Court Blocks Export of 25 “Show” Dolphins to Singapore
- Federal Government Reconsidering Protected Status for Captive Orca at Miami Seaquarium
- Undercover Investigation Reveals Deplorable Conditions at Cayman Turtle Farm
A civil suit filed by animal rights group Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) has resulted in a court order blocking the export of 25 dolphins to Singapore from the Philippines, who would become part of a show at Resorts World Sentosa, a giant casino resort in the city. The dolphins were caught in the wild around the Solomon Islands between 2008 – 2011, where they have been shipped to a marine park in the Philippines for training. Despite following complying with all regulatory requirements, the importers of the dolphins may never see a single dolphin, as PAWS is pursuing a ban on all dolphin trafficking in the Philippines. The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources is expected to respond to the court order this week.
A second petition for the release of Lolita, a captive orca at Miami Seaquarium, has been approved for consideration by the US federal government, provided that the groups who are filing the petition drop their appeal to have the first decision overturned. Both petitions are in response to the listing of Puget Sound orcas as endangered in 2005, from which Lolita was excluded due to her captivity at the Seaquarium since 1970. The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) contend that because Lolita was captured from the L pod, a Southern Resident orca family that is now protected by legislation, excluding her from the same protection was in conflict with the law. The first case brought to court by the groups was dismissed by a federal court judge in Tacoma, Washington, which was appealed later the same month. The settlement reached between the groups and the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals stipulates a specific time period in which the government must make a decision as to whether Lolita will be protected by law.
A year of undercover investigation of the Cayman Turtle Farm by the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) has revealed endangered sea turtles living in deplorable conditions, all for the sake of tourist dollars. Both photo and video footage were taken of sea turtles swimming in tanks filled with their own excrement, crowded beyond what could be considered humane, and many clearly injured, diseased, and distressed. The investigation found that in addition to the health risks for the turtles, humans were at risk of illness as well, as traces of E.coli, salmonella, and Vibrio vulnificus were all found within the turtle touching tanks at the farm. To make matters worse, investigators observed turtles being slaughtered and sold again to tourists in the form of steaks and burgers. The WSPA met with administrators of the Cayman Turtle Farm in July of this year to discuss the findings of their investigation and a proposal that would turn the farm into a rehabilitation and research center instead. To date, the farm is unwilling to change its operations. See for yourself what the conditions are like at the Cayman Turtle Farm: