FREE THE DOLPHINS

Although there is a growing awareness worldwide of the cruelty implicit in keeping wild animals in captivity, and a growing number of Mexican states have banned circus animals, Mexico is shamefully positioned as the third country with the most captive dolphins in the world, and has the most in Latin America.

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And we say it is shameful, because over 50% of dolphins die while being captured or shortly thereafter. They are trained through starvation. And for animals that in the wild can travel over 100 km per day, the tanks they are kept in are absurdly small, too shallow to escape from the sun, often lacking in shade, and full of chemicals to disguise the fact that they must swim in their own filth. Furthermore, these are highly intelligent and social creatures which suffer a great deal when separated from their companions, babies, or mothers.

For these reasons the rest of the world is beginning to close its dolphinariums, and countries as diverse as Hungary, Costa Rica, Chile, India, Switzerland and England have flat out outlawed these facilities. Sadly, the “swim with dolphins” business in Mexico is booming. And the number of dolphinariums here has more than doubled in the past six years alone.

This is happening despite the fact that capturing dolphins has been ilegal in Mexico since 2002, and in 2006 the dolphin trade was prohibited, with special allowances being available only for scientific research. Furthermore, Mexico has signed various international treaties which obligate it to restrict the traffic of these species.

It is obvious to anyone that dolphinariums exist to make money from tourism, and are not scientific institutions. The scientific validity of Mexican dolphinariums is as null as that of Japanese whalers. The argument that these businesses work to conserve dolphins is even more absurd, as they have never tried to release dolphins back into the wild, despite boasting (falsely) of the success of their captive breeding programs. For this reason we demand that this “scientific” exemption be cancelled for all businesses that profit from keeping dolphins, or any other marine mammal, in captivity.

Given that these businesses depend on tourism, you as a tourist have the power to end this farce, and demand a world where dolphins live free. Please, avoid participating in any “swim with dolphins” activity, and sign our petition demanding that all “scientific” permits to businesses that profit from capturing and abusing dolphins, be cancelled immediately.

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