Five big wins for dolphins in 2017

Jun 28, 2017 by afdadmin
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Sometimes it feels like there’s more cruelty than kindness in the world. That’s why it’s important to celebrate progress – and use it as inspiration to keep pushing forward.

It’s only June, but there have already been some amazing wins for dolphins in 2017.

1. We took legal action against a marine park.

In April this year Australia for Dolphins filed world-first legal action against an Australian marine park to prove dolphins aren’t “happy and healthy” in captivity.

The lawsuit, which was covered on national TV show The Project, will put the global dolphin captivity industry under a microscope – a crucial step towards ending this practice right around the world.

With barrister Benny Browne at the Federal Circuit Court of Australia before the first court hearing.

With barrister Benny Browne at the Federal Circuit Court of Australia before the first court hearing.

2. An international airline promised to stop transporting dolphins.

When AFD supporters heard Finland’s last four captive dolphins were transported by plane to a notoriously cruel marine park in Greece, they leapt into action in the thousands, signing a petition and writing to management.

Your voices were heard, and ASL Aviation pledged not to transport dolphins in the future. This means the company’s entire fleet of almost 90 planes will no longer prop up the cruel marine park industry. Win!

And ASL Aviation isn’t alone. Other major corporations including TripAdvisor and Virgin have also chosen to stand against dolphin captivity in 2017.

ASL Aviation has agreed to stop taking dolphins on airplanes, but that doesn’t mean they can’t fly.

ASL Aviation has agreed to stop taking dolphins on airplanes, but that doesn’t mean they can’t fly.

3. France, Canada, U.S.A, and Australia made huge steps towards ending dolphin captivity.

In May France put an end to captive breeding of all dolphins and killer whales, a few months after a federal bill was introduced in America to prohibit the import and export of orcas. To the North, Vancouver Aquarium Park Board made a huge step, voting to stop any new whales, dolphins and porpoises being kept in captivity.

Progress is also being made in Australia. In 2016 AFD announced a bold new bill to ban dolphin captivity in NSW. We’ve already met with dozens of MPs and decision-makers to discuss the ban, and just this month we finished drafting the bill.

We will be meeting with five more MPs in August, and the captivity issue has already been raised multiple times in NSW Parliament this year.

beluga whales squirting water

4. We launched the first ever TV ad against dolphin captivity.

This year AFD supporters chipped in to create a powerful TV ad staring actor Isabel Lucas, asking people not to support the cruel dolphin captivity industry.

The ad, which was proudly supported by Voiceless, the Animal Protection Institute, played far and wide during the summer holiday period – reaching close to a million people right in their homes. It also gained national media attention, and was shared by thousands on social media.

Isabel thank you banner image

5. The horrific Taiji hunts were exposed on billboards in Japan.

The violent Taiji dolphin hunts are hidden under tarps, and the documentary The Cove was heavily censored in Japan. Which is why we were excited to launch the first ever billboard showing graphic footage of the Taiji dolphin hunts in Japan this year.

The ad (funded by kind AFD supporters) played to hundreds of thousands of people above a busy intersection in Osaka, exposing many Japanese people to the truth for the first time.

Japanese animal welfare advocates in front of the billboard, talking to people about the Taiji dolphin hunts.

Japanese animal welfare advocates in front of the billboard, talking to people about the Taiji dolphin hunts.

As these results show, your actions are having an impact. None of these wins would have been possible without kind and compassionate people like you taking action to fight dolphin cruelty. Thank you!

Australia for Dolphins has plenty more planned for 2017. If you want to help achieve even bigger and better things for dolphins this year, please consider signing up as a member of AFD’s Dolphin Defender team.