Captivity in the EU - Austria

Austria is one of twelve EU Member States that does not keep dolphins in captivity.

WDCS successfully campaigned against a 2009 proposal to build a dolphinarium in Austria. Our national media campaign exposed the cruelty of live captures, trade and confinement of dolphins. This led to the Austrian government’s public announcement that the plans to construct a dolphinarium in Austria would be denied.

In the early 1970’s a number of travelling dolphin shows traveled through Austria. One of these traveling shows,  the ‘Conny Gasser’s Travelling Flipper Show’, later formed the Conny-Land dolphinarium and amusement park in Switzerland, which is still in existence. Travelling dolphin shows no longer exist in the EU, but are still found in a few countries such as Russia and Indonesia, where they present significant health and welfare problems for the animals involved. In 2005, Austria banned the use of wild animals in circuses due to welfare concerns for the animals.

Austria is a member of the IWC (International Whaling Commission) and strongly supports the moratorium on commercial whaling.

Austria includes dolphinaria in its national zoo law, but does not have specific legislation relating to keeping cetaceans in captivity.