Madrid, June 8 Spain leads the ranking of the countries with the highest number of dolphins in captivity (93) throughout Europe, specifically, Oceanogràfic in Valencia is the center with the most captive specimens, according to a classification prepared by the World Organization for Animal Protection and published this . Thursday as part of the celebration of World Oceans Day.
The study confirmed the presence of 308 dolphins “trapped” in 14 European countries “where cetaceans continue to be used for human entertainment at the expense of animal suffering,” according to a statement.
The 93 captive dolphins in Spain represent 30% of the captive specimens on the European continent, according to the classification of the world organization that works to protect animals and fight against their suffering, especially to end the use of wildlife for recreational purposes. .
In addition, Spain is the country with the largest number of centers (10) where dolphins are used for entertainment, with Valencia’s Oceanogràfic topping the table, with twenty specimens.
Portugal is second in the standings, with 35 horses, followed by Ukraine (33), the Netherlands (25), Italy (23), France (23), Lithuania (16), Germany (15), and Sweden (12). and Greece (9), Belgium (8), Romania (6), Malta and Bulgaria (5), respectively.
According to global animal protection data updated in May this year, excluding Ukraine in 2019, there are 34 dolphinariums in Europe, where the animals live “locked in small pools for decades,” and “have no choice but to work for up to Three times a day for food.
However, the centers receive “millions of dollars in profits at the expense of the suffering of the animals,” in the opinion of the organization, which calculates that “a single dolphin can generate profits between 400 thousand and two million euros annually.”
The rest of the time, they say, the specimens “clump together in little puddles,” without being able to enjoy in their natural habitat the diversity of ecosystems and the freedom they would live in in the ocean.
World Animal Protection Spain has launched a petition to Oceanogràfic, already backed by more than 23,000 signatures, to stop dolphin breeding.
Sandra Campinas, coordinator of the World Campaign for Animal Protection Spain, warns, “Dolphins are not ambassadors for their species in freedom, Oceanographic asserts. They are prisoners!” entertainment “.
On World Oceans Day, Campinas calls for the freedom of “dolphins, highly social and inquisitive animals with intelligence far above many other animals. They are sentient beings who need to interact with their peers and explore their habitat to have a full life.”
He asserts that the oceans and seas are “the only place” where dolphins can “meet their needs and be happy,” and urges Oceanogràfic of World Animal Protection Spain to “set an example and lead change in the country so that this is the last generation of captive dolphins.”
France, Croatia, Cyprus, Hungary, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Norway, and the United Kingdom, among some thirty European countries, have “laws that prohibit or significantly restrict the display of marine mammals in captivity.”
In the case of France, in 2021 it approved a law stating that the current will be the “last generation” of captive dolphins in the country, while in the UK they have not been in 30 years due to the “difficult conditions” in place. in British law.
The animal welfare law approved last March in Spain did not include dolphins, allowing it to continue to be a country of interest for tourists from other countries.
According to data from World Animal Protection, in 2022 Oceanogràphic welcomed “1.6 million tourists, 51% foreigners,” who included visits to a dolphinarium in their vacation activities.
For this reason, the organization is working with travel agencies and tour viewing platforms to stop offering these “unethical activities” for animal welfare. EFE
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