The fact that marine mammals do not belong in small tanks, proven by unambiguous data and countless examples of their poor quality of life in captivity, still has to be yet recognized by the majority of lawmakers in the world – but the good news is positive change is still happening. Mexico City just passed a set of laws putting an end to the commercial exploitation and use of marine mammals, among them, notably, dolphin performances!
The Mexico City Congress passed the bill under the Protection of Animals law, reports Marine Connection.This means it is no longer permitted to use marine animals, including dolphins and whales, in activities with humans – such as training and performing in shows, swim programs, and therapy.
Existing facilities have six months to remove the marine mammals they hold to a sea pen or a sanctuary, where the animals will not perform, nor will they interact with the public. Instead, these beautiful animals will finally be able to live a peaceful life in a more suitable environment. The bill will actively come into force once it is published in the Gaceta Oficial de la Ciudad de México.
A fine applying to anyone who violates the new laws, ranging from 113 thousand to 300 thousand 960 pesos, was approved by the President of the Environment Commission, Xavier López Adame. He also drew attention to Dolphin Discovery Six Flags Mexico, which is ranked as the sixth worst dolphinarium in America according to In Defense of Animal’s Ten Worst Tanks list and stressed the obvious need for the newly introduced laws in the light of such blatant exploitation of animals.
Whales and dolphins forced into captivity spend their unnaturally short lives in conditions far removed from their natural environment, they are severely stressed and anxious, and fall victim to a number of illnesses reserved for captive animals. They engage in self-mutilation, become aggressive, and come to show signs of zoochosis. They are being fed medications and even psychoactive drugs. Their lives revolve around being an entertainment, while they themselves are sick, desperately unhappy, bored, and mentally debilitated.
The new legislation is a big step in the fight against marine mammal captivity – and, hopefully, it will inspire other areas to follow suit! It’s time we treated marine mammals with respect and allowed them to lead their lives in peace – in the wild!
Image source: JohnAlvarez/Pixabay