On Wednesday 3 May the French Environment Minister, Segolene Royal signed legislation bringing into effect conditions which include larger pool size and depth and stopping the use of chlorinated water, which facilities in France will have 3 years to adhere to if they wish to continue operating. We were delighted to receive notification that the Minister had further tightened the legislation by signing a decree bringing into place a ban on the breeding of whales and dolphins at all facilities in the country. Furthermore, a ban has been put on any direct public contact with the animals, meaning that facilities will no longer be able to offer swimming with dolphins or ‘trainer for a day’ experiences. This law comes into force in 6 months’ time.
Marine Connection Director Margaux Dodds, who has worked alongside colleagues in France to help close facilities comments; “We applaud this decision by the Environment Minister which we hope will lead to the eventual phasing out of captive dolphins and whales in the country. She has shown an understanding of the threats to the welfare of cetaceans in captivity and by bringing these new regulations into force and banning breeding, has taken measures to bring about an end to cetaceans being held in captivity – it is a great step forward.”