France has officially banned the breeding of killer whales and dolphins in aquariums and water parks following an amendment to laws concerning marine animals in captivity.
After two years of work from campaigners, the new legislation was initially validated by French environmental minister Ségolène Royal on May 3. However, following revelations of whales being drugged in aquariums, it was decided that the law had to be made even more "radical". The second version of the bill, therefore, aims to significantly improve the animals' quality of life with the long-term aim of finally putting an end to dolphin and whale shows across the nation.
There are currently four venues across France where you can watch shows involving marine animals. Under the new bill, which is to come into effect immediately, all pools at these venues are to be made significantly larger. There are also stricter rules concerning contact between the public and the animals.
All water parks have been given six months to comply with the new rules and have three years to make improvements to their enclosures, including new features to keep the animals entertained.
Chlorine is also to be banned alongside certain activities such as swimming with dolphins. It's estimated that the changes will cost these establishments between ten and twenty million dollars each.
While those in charge of the parks have been willing to make expensive changes to favor the animals' well-being (and therefore enhance their images), they are less than pleased about putting an end to the practice once and for all.
However, now faced with the prospect of no future generations of captive dolphins or whales, that is certainly where things are headed. And, with numerous marine life deaths recorded in France in recent years, the move can't come soon enough.