PRESS RELEASE: Conseil d’Etat invalidates decree in the interest of dolphins and orcas
Marineland welcomes the Conseil d’Etat’s decision to annul the May 2017 decree on the keeping and welfare of cetaceans, including dolphins and orcas, in France. According to the Conseil d’Etat, the decree, which was adopted by the previous government, failed to respect procedural requirements and safeguards prescribed by law.
“This is a great result for our animals and zoological parks in France,” said Pascal Picot, Director General of Marineland Parcs. “It is important that significant changes to regulations affecting animals in our care are based on sound science and are adopted in compliance with legal requirements.”
The annulment overturns a ban on keeping cetaceans (other than the thirty animals present in France as of May 2017) and also a prohibition on reproduction. According to Mr. Picot, “The annulment of the ban on reproduction is positive for the health and well-being of our dolphins and species conservation.”.”
The court’s decision allows Marineland and other zoological parks in France to continue caring for cetaceans and to educate and motivate the public about species conservation. The French parks also will be able to continue their positive collaboration with zoological parks across Europe in the interest of cetaceans.
Animal welfare in France continues to be assured by a 2004 decree governing animals in zoological parks. In addition, due to the court’s invalidation of the 2017 decree, its predecessoron the keeping of cetaceans in France will again apply until it is properly revised in a procedure that respects the requirements of French law. Marineland will be pleased to collaborate with the government and other experts to consider how the existing decree on keeping cetaceans might be modernized in the interests of animal health, welfare, and conservation on the basis of objective evidence and consistent with best professional practices.
As a licensed zoological park entrusted with the care and conservation of live animals, Marineland continuously strives for improvement in its keeping and care, not only of dolphins and orcas but also, of all the live animals for which it is responsible. Marineland looks forward to the opportunity made possible by the court’s decision to continue carrying out its critical mission and responsibilities through excellence in animal care, public education and awareness raising, scientific research, and species conservation.
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