midiamimesAnimal welfare NGOs call on IOC to stop dolphin exploitation during Winter Olympics

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ItalyAnimal welfare organisations call on IOC to stop dolphin exploitation during Winter Olympics
ENDCAP, alongside 30 well-respected international and national animal protection organisations, representing millions of compassionate citizens, are calling on the International Olympic Committee and the Russian Olympic Committee to stop the planned use of captive dolphins in the Sochi Winter Games.
With a week to go before the opening of the Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, charity leaders have requested that the President of the IOC and the President of the Russian Olympic Committee halt plans to use an endangered Black Sea bottlenose dolphin during the Olympic Torch relay. There are also concerns with reports that two orcas (killer whales) have been caught in Russian waters, possibly destined for captivity in a dolphinarium in Sochi, in time for the Games.
“The world will be watching Sochi during the Olympic games. We cannot allow people to see torch-bearing dolphins as something normal, or even funny, said Jennifer Berengueras of SOSDelfines. “Such images distort reality and damage efforts to raise awareness on the need to protect and respect our wildlife.”
The testimonials presented in the 2013 film documentary, ‘Blackfish’, have confirmed that the keeping of orca, in fact any dolphin species, in captivity is likely to cause both mental and physical suffering as well as reduce their average lifespan. This should not be a legacy of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, especially in view of the organiser’s desire to promote respect for nature.
The joint letter asks the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Mr Thomas Bach, to not include an endangered Black Sea bottlenose dolphin (from a Sochi dolphinarium) in the Olympic Torch relay and, in addition, to ensure that future Olympic Games do not jeopardise the welfare of individual animals. It has been recommended that the IOC’s code of ethics, Section 3.2.10 of Agenda 21, be amended to ensure future Games do not compromise the physical, biological and behavioural needs of animals.
“ENDCAP members are shocked at the potential use of marine animals in Olympic ceremonies and is seriously concerned for the protection of these animals – especially when the objectives of the Olympic Movement and the Sochi Games is to protect biodiversity and to be in ‘harmony with nature’,” added Daniel Turner, spokesperson for ENDCAP. “Keeping whales and dolphins in captive conditions, where their biological and behavioural needs are compromised, is extremely detrimental to their long-term survival. The IOC must give full consideration to the welfare of animals in this Olympic Games.”
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Author: ENDCAP