France announced that they are going to ban the breeding of dolphins and orcas in captivity.
In addition, they are also prohibiting the keeping of all whales, dolphins and porpoises in captivity, with the exemption for all those animals that are already held captive.
For establishments that already have animals in captivity, the new rule states that they must expand the pools holding the animals to up to 150% of its current size. Under the regulation, direct contact between the animal and the public is also considered illegal.
BBC noted that the establishments have three years to comply with the expansion of the pool and six months to comply with the other rules specified on the newly introduced statute.
A legislation stipulating the measure was signed on May 3 by Environment Minister Segolene Royal. As reported by Telegraph, initially, the version included only “tight controls on the reproduction of dolphins,” however, after learning that purposely drugged inside the aquarium, she decided to expand the coverage of the legislation.
As cited by IFL Science, France currently has four dolphinariums. Marineland, in Antibes, has four orcas that are used for displays, and 13 bottlenose dolphins, which customers can “meet,” for €70 per person and €5 for any accompanying person. The park also holds sharks and sea lions in captivity.
“In plain terms, this means the end of breeding, exchange and import programs,” five conservation groups including One Voice and Sea Shepherd said in a joint statement, as mentioned by Financial Tribune. “Without possible replenishment, this quite simply means the scheduled end of marine circuses on our territory.”
Meanwhile, the marine animals’ struggle to freedom is not over yet, as theme parks in other parts of the world such as San Antonio, Texas and Orlando are not expected to end the shows until 2019, The Independent reported.