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YES: Another Country Just Banned Dolphin And Whale Breeding

This is HUGE.

In a huge blow to keeping intelligent marine mammals in tanks, France has made an historic decision to end all captive breeding of dolphins and whales.

After learning that captive dolphins and whales are being drugged, Environment Minister Segolene Royal amended the legislation she signed last Wednesday — which already banned direct contact between animals and the public (like petting the animals and swimming with dolphins) and required holding tanks to be enlarged — to phase out captive breeding.

“I think this is a fantastic development,” Naomi Rose, a marine mammal scientist with the Animal Welfare Institute, told The Dodo.

The news came as a shock to the association of French zoos, which complained that the government had not consulted them before passing the new regulations, which are being hailed as the beginning of the end of marine mammal shows in the country.

Jon Kershaw, head of the controversial marine park Marineland Antibes, called the ban a "bombshell."

The park on the French Riviera was home to Freya, an orca who died in 2015 of an undetermined illness. After being caught as a baby off the coast of Iceland in the early 80s, Freya was made to breed over and over, giving birth to four stillborn calves and just one who survived.

Controversy also sparked when, after extensive flooding in the south of France, tanks at Marineland became filled with mud. Freya's son, a 19-year-old orca named Valentin, died soon after this flooding, and just four months after his mom died. Some believe he died from complications related to the muddy tanks and possibly also from the pain of losing his mom.

The ban on breeding will take effect in six months, according to Rose.

“We all must remain vigilant and ensure the conditions of the decree are appropriately implemented,” she said, “but it is yet another sign of the positive change in society’s perceptions of these species in captivity!”

To take action for a similar ban here in the U.S., you can get involved in a campaign to ban orca captivity.