Saturday 28 May 2022

Dolfinarium does nothing to ‘protect’ sea animals, advertising watchdog rules

Photo: Depositphotos.com

Dolphin park Dolfinarium in Harderwijk can no longer use the slogan ‘Discover, Experience and Protect’ in its promotional material,  advertising watchdog Reclame Code Commissie has decided,

Animals rights organisation House of Animals had reported the marine zoo because it claimed the slogan suggests that by buying a ticket, visitors are helping to protect sea mammals.

The commission agreed that there is nothing to show that the Dolfinarium is actively contributing to the protection of the animals.

‘The dolphin park has been spouting stuff about the welfare of the dolphins, orcas and sea lions there for years but it’s all a big lie,’ House of Animals spokeswoman Karin Soeters told local broadcaster Omroep Gelderland. ‘The zoo can never come close to the natural environment of dolphins, which travel great distances in the wild,’ she said.

Dolfinarium general manager Alex Tiebot said the word ‘protect’ referred to the educational function of the park. There is scientific evidence that visiting the park leads to more awareness of the importance of protecting the environment, he claimed. The Dolfinarium will appeal the decision.

The zoo has recently scaled down its dolphin shows and said it would concentrate more on education and animal welfare but has also come under fire for wanting to sell eight dolphins, two walruses and two sea lions to a Chinese zoo.

Animal welfare organisations criticised the move because, they claimed, living conditions at the Hainan Ocean Paradise did not meet the required standards.

Permission for the sale was was granted by farm minister Carola Schouten, however, on the condition that the Dolfinarium check the facilities in place.

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