The key commitments of today’s announcement include:
•A decision to no longer sell or promote any new attractions or hotels that feature captive whales and dolphins for entertainment purposes.
•Ensuring that existing facilities displaying captive cetaceans, contracted by Virgin Holidays, meet the highest animal welfare standards.
•Encouraging existing facilities to change their current exploitative practices.
•Supporting the creation of coastal sanctuaries for whales and dolphins and promoting conservation in their natural habitats.
•Endorsing international co-operation to end the capture of wild cetaceans and discouraging the building of new attractions where cetaceans will be used for theatrical or contact purposes.
Whilst Virgin’s support of cetacean captivity may continue, by making this statement Virgin Holidays is pushing the captive cetacean industry down a path of change and are bringing their key industry partners, SeaWorld and Dolphin Discovery, with them!
Congratulations to the members of Dolphinaria-Free Europe; The Born Free Foundation, World Cetacean Alliance (WCA) and Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), who have been working with Virgin Holidays to improve standards in animal welfare in the short term and phase out the exploitative use of animals in the long term.