I understand that there is a ban on the import of dolphins into Hungary. Nevertheless, I am concerned to learn that the Director of Tropicarium in Budapest has stated publicly that he wishes to construct a dolphinarium at the facility, and has been in discussions with facilities in the EU and USA that keep cetaceans in captivity.
I respectfully ask you to use your influence to prevent the keeping and display of dolphins, and any other cetaceans, as part of this new development. The keeping of dolphins in tanks, whatever the size, can never provide these highly intelligent animals with an acceptable standard of welfare; so far removed from the ocean in which they are adapted to live.
Mortality rates in captivity and low breeding success means the captive dolphin population is not self-sustaining. As a consequence, captures from the wild still take place, with all the stresses and mortality that result from this brutal process. Acquiring captive-bred dolphins still creates demand for wild capture.
Furthermore, you will be aware that under EC Regulation 338/97 it is prohibited to import cetaceans for primarily commercial purposes. This is supported by the EU Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC) which prohibits the capture and trade of dolphins within the EU.
In light of my concerns for the potential re-establishment of dolphins in captivity in Hungary, I urge your Government to uphold its commendable import ban on dolphins.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Yours respectfully and sincerely