Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

Born Free helps to stop “Dolphins with the Stars”

19 May 2015

Categories: Homepage News, Marine Campaign News, Zoo Check Campaign News

© C21media

The Born Free Foundation, together with marine mammal scientists and other animal protection NGOs, have successfully ended the filming of a new reality TV show, "Dolphins with the Stars” in Portugal.

The show, which tasks celebrities to train individual captive dolphins to perform choreographed routines and tricks before live audiences, has disappointed the Born Free Foundation, and other NGOs, that work tirelessly to end the exploitation of animals. Already broadcast in Lithuania and currently being filmed for broadcast in Portugal, the TV programme concept of "Dolphins with the Stars” has reportedly been sold across Europe. 

Daniel Turner, spokesperson for Born Free said, “We are delighted to hear that the Portuguese Government has contacted the TV channel SIC and advised against the filming and broadcast of ‘Dolphins with the Stars’. On behalf of the Dolphinaria-Free Europe coalition, Born Free wrote to Government officials, informing them about the TV show, raising concerns about the exploitation of the dolphins involved and highlighting obvious breaches in Portuguese law though the involvement of the licensed zoo, ZooMarine Algarve.” Turner adds, “We were informed this afternoon (18/05/2015) that the filming of TV programme has been suspended.”

Filming had been taking place at the licensed zoo, ZooMarine Algarve in Portugal for "Dolphins with the Stars”, which was scheduled for broadcast on 20th June. Letters sent to the Government of Portugal explained that the exploitative practices of the TV show contradicted the zoo’s legal requirements that dictate a commitment to species conservation, meaningful public education and species-specific animal welfare standards. It was clear that the use of ZooMarine’s bottlenose dolphins would be in breach of those requirements. Portugal’s Institute of Nature Conservation and Biodiversity appear to have agreed with our assessment. 

Recognising that the programme, "Dolphins with the Stars” could still be broadcast in Portugal in the future, and quite possibly in other European nations, the Born Free Foundation will continue to monitor the situation and act in the interests of the captive wild animals.

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Born Free Foundation
Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurstwood Road
, Horsham, RH12 4QP, UK - Charity Reg. No. 1070906


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