Belga

"If we take animal welfare seriously, we can't tolerate this!"

The Flemish animal welfare minister Ben Weyts (Flemish nationalist) believes dolphinaria should be phased out.  Belgium still boasts one dolphinarium, Seapark in Bruges, but the minister says he would prefer not to see any dolphins kept in captivity anywhere in Flanders.

Flanders recently revised legislation on the keeping of mammals.  Dolphins aren't specifically mentioned, but the minister says he didn't want to provide an alibi for dolphins to be kept in perpetuity.  Mr Weyts is eager to see a debate on the holding of dolphins in captivity.  He favours a phasing out.

"Can we keep these animals in captivity purely for our pleasure?  To get them to do tricks with dead fish?  If we take animal welfare seriously, we can't tolerate this. These are tremendously intelligent and sensitive animals.  In the wild they swim 60 km a day and live in a habitat of 125 sq. km."