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Take A Stand For Captive Dolphins

SAFE Challenges MP's To Take A Stand For Captive Dolphins

Tuesday 3rd April 2001. SAFE (Save Animals From Exploitation) today issued a challenge to all Parliamentarians to put their words into action and legislate against the keeping of dolphins in captivity in New Zealand. SAFE's challenge is in response to comments in the last few days from both Sandra Lee (Minister of Conservation) and Sue Kedgley (Green MP) condemning the keeping of captive dolphins, and from SAFE's own research which indicated cross-party support for a bill to ban the keeping of cetaceans (dolphins and whales), which was introduced by National MP Annabel Young as a private members bill in 1999 but subsequently dropped when National lost the election.

"There are plenty of politicians ready to publicly voice their opposition to the keeping of dolphins in captivity but none that are willing to present a bill to Parliament to ensure that dolphins in the future are protected. Sandra Lee (the Minister of Conservation who ultimately decides on whether Marine parks can import dolphins) may not agree with performing dolphins but there is no certainty that future Ministers will be so conscientious. Only strict legislation will bring an end to the tragedy of New Zealand's captive dolphins." said Gary Reese, SAFE's National Campaigns Director.

"SAFE has been pushing for an MP to adopt the Prohibition on Capture of Marine Mammals (Whales and Dolphins in Captivity) Bill ever since it was dropped by Annabel Young early in 2000. New Zealanders have a great respect for cetaceans, a creature which, in many ways, symbolises our unique relationship with the ocean. Most New Zealanders do not support keeping dolphins in captivity, our legislation should reflect this." said Gary Reese.

"Eight percent of tourists to New Zealand hope to see or swim with wild dolphins during their time here, this is the future of the public's dolphin experience not watching bored dolphins performing circus tricks in a concrete prison." said Gary Reese.


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