‘False and misleading’ campaign targets SeaWorld
ANIMAL rights activists will today launch a major campaign targeting SeaWorld with a message that has been slammed as 'false and misleading' by Village Roadshow.
Activist group World Animal Protection has unveiled a city wide campaign to ban captive dolphin breeding at Sea World though a number of highly visible billboards across the city.
But SeaWorld operator Village Roadshow argues that any moves to stop breeding, which they claim happens naturally would impact the welfare of the dolphins.
The WAP billboards aimed to "educated passers-by" will be unveiled in locations including Surfers Paradise, Southport and Bundall.
The move follows a decision by the Dolphin Marine Conservation Park at Coffs Harbour in March to end breeding dolphins in captivity.
The park had long been the focus of animal rights protesters.
Sea World is now the only venue in Australia where breeding in captivity still takes place.
Head of Campaigns at World Animal Protection, Ben Pearson likened the breeding of dolphins in the park as a 'life sentence'.
"With Dolphin Marine Conservation Park having already made this commitment, Sea World is
now on its own and out of step with the growing public awareness that keeping dolphins in
captivity is cruel," Mr Pearson said.
"Breeding more dolphins that can live up to 50 years in these circumstances is unjustifiable and we're very confident the community will support our campaign.
"There are currently over 30 dolphins at Sea World, most of which were born and bred there,
with breeding to continue in future to provide entertainment for tourists."
Sea World said all breeding of its dolphins takes place 'naturally' as part of a "carefully managed breeding program."
It also argued the money spent on making the claims could instead be spent on conservation.
"Reproduction is a natural process which enriches the lives of the animals and helps contribute to positive welfare of the animals, which is our utmost priority," the spokesman said.
"All management strategies to stop breeding are against best practice and decreases the welfare of the dolphins."
"Sea World regrets that these activist groups continue to make false and misleading claims regarding the treatment of animals in human care.
"These activist groups are actually harming the very animals they seek to support because Sea World has to spend time and money responding to their false claims, which could otherwise be spent on animal conservation.
"The money wasted on these billboards would also be much better spent on actual animal conservation efforts, as opposed to agenda-driven marketing."
Sea World is an accredited zoological institution under the Zoo and Aquarium Association (ZAA) and is also regulated by multiple State and Federal Government agencies.
The release of rescued animals into the wild is a decision made by Queensland Government agencies.
Sea World also operates the not-for-profit Sea World Research & Rescue Foundation. Through and has a team on call for animal rescues.