Breeding dolphins for a life in captivity is internationally recognised as a form of cruelty, and Queensland must ban the practice before the state harms any more animals in addition to its reputation.
France announced it would halt its dolphin entertainment industry in 2020, joining the likes of Brazil, Canada, India, Switzerland, and the UK – all of which already have laws in place that ban or significantly restrict the captive display of marine mammals. Most recently, New South Wales has introduced new regulations to stop the breeding of dolphins for entertainment at amusement parks in the state.
It’s time for Queensland to follow suit.
In nature, dolphins swim up to 100 kilometres a day with their family pods, diving and riding the waves. They are acoustically oriented – using clicks, whistles, and echolocation to perceive their surroundings. They’re unsuited to life in captivity, where they can only swim a few metres and the reverberations from their sonar bounce off the walls of enclosures, confusing and disorientating them.
Sea World on the Gold Coast is Australia’s last remaining dolphin-breeding facility, breeding offshore bottlenose dolphins and inshore bottlenose dolphins. The RSPCA says Sea World has no grounds to continue captive breeding, as neither species is endangered or threatened.
The Queensland Government must act swiftly to end this cruelty and keep up with national and global animal welfare standards.