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Image from one of the WDC Risso's dolphin research catalogues

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Ban on promoting whale and dolphin captive cruelty missing from Queen’s speech

The Queen's Speech, delivered at Westminster today in the Queen’s absence by Prince Charles, was noteworthy for another absence.

The speech sets out the laws the government wants to pass in coming months and should have featured a long awaited Animals Abroad Bill that included a ban on travel companies advertising venues to UK tourists with low animal welfare standards. But this legislation will go no further as it seems the government doesn’t think that its priorities include the welfare of whales and dolphins cruelly held in small tanks and exhibited to the public for so-called ‘entertainment’.

Whales and dolphins travel up to 100 miles a day in the wild. No small concrete tank can replicate this freedom. Captivity causes mental stress for those held who also live shorter lives than they would in the ocean.

‘WDC is bitterly disappointed to hear that the government has failed to include a ban on advertising cruel whale and dolphin shows as part of the Animals Abroad Bill in today’s Queen’s speech’, says captivity campaigner, Rob Lott. ‘It is nearly 30 years since the UK’s last dolphinarium closed as it was recognised that no facility was large enough to provide the space and environmental conditions that these sentient, highly social creatures need to thrive.

'It’s a crying shame that the government has missed this golden opportunity and still feels it is okay for travel companies to continue to promote this outdated and cruel practice to UK tourists while travelling abroad. We will now continue our campaign to ensure that a ban on advertising low animal welfare venues abroad is presented - most likely - as part of a private member's bill. The fight goes on.’

About George Berry

George is a member of WDC's Communications team and website coordinator.

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