April 13, 2017: As reported by Russian news, Vesti.ru, Deputies of the State Duma in the Russian Federation intend to add a ban on traveling dolphin shows and contact zoos to the proposed bill, “On Responsible Treatment of Animals.”
The Deputy Chairman of the Duma Committee on Ecology and Environmental Protection, Vladimir Panov, who is overseeing the finalization of the bill, explained to Russian news agency TASS that animals in contact zoos are in constant stress as they cannot avoid interaction with visitors. In addition, inadequate conditions in captivity such as bright artificial lighting, high noise levels, limited space and lack of exercise can contribute to the premature death of the animals. Panov explained that it is impossible to provide the necessary conditions for marine mammals in traveling dolphinariums because they are continually on the move.
The bill was initially submitted to the State Duma in 2010. In March 2011, deputies adopted it in the first reading. In the fall of 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin recalled the need for further development and adoption of this bill.
Traveling circuses are also popular in Indonesia, where three separate companies operate under appalling conditions. The animals are frequently hauled out of their plastic performing pools and loaded into the back of trucks, along with other animals, as the circuses move from town to town. Dolphin Project’s team on the ground are lobbying the government and have met with the Ministry of Education to no longer allow traveling dolphin circuses to solicit visits from schoolchildren during school hours. Dolphin Project has also launched a major campaign in Indonesia to close these exploitative operations including a graffiti & mural art initiative, electronic billboards throughout Indonesia, digital ads at the Bali airport and a traveling educational puppet show.
Dolphin Project applauds Russia in their efforts to ban traveling dolphin shows. However, there is still much work to be done as Russia remains one of the biggest buyers of Taiji’s wild-caught dolphins, and continues to permit the capture of wild orcas for captive display.
Thank you to Dolphin Project Cove Monitor and SaveDolphins.net Founder, Oxana Fedorova for providing information and translation contained in this blog.
Featured image: courtesy SaveDolphins.net.
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