Σάββατο, 26 Απριλίου 2014

Unlocking the Cage


Since 2007, based on scientific evidence, dozens of lawyers, political scientists, law students, sociologists, psychologists, natural scientists, and computer modelers from across the US have been preparing the first cases that will seek to extend the fundamental common law rights of liberty and equality to some nonhuman  animals, arguing that some cognitively complex species (such as chimpanzees, whales, dolphins, and elephants) have the capacity for fundamental personhood rights (such as bodily liberty) that would protect them from physical abuse.

Steven Wise at his home office in Coral Springs
"Unlocking the Cage" is a new documentary and the  personal story of a man with an uncompromising need to change the system. Steve Wise (born 1952) [Fb] is an American legal scholar who specializes in animal protection issues, primatology, and animal intelligence. He teaches animal rights law at Harvard Law School, Vermont Law School, John Marshall Law School, Lewis & Clark Law School, and Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine. He is a former president of the Animal Legal Defense Fund [website, Fb] and founder (2007) and president of the Nonhuman Rights Project

Nonhuman Rights Project [website, Fb] is the only organization working toward actual LEGAL rights for members of species other than our own. Steve Wise has spent more than 30 years developing his strategy for attaining animal personhood rights. After he started his career as a criminal defense lawyer, he was inspired by Peter Singer’s book "Animal Liberation" [Fb, Amazon, translated in Greek just 35 years after as "ΑΠΕΛΕΥΘΕΡΩΣΗ ΤΩΝ ΖΩΩΝ"] to dedicate himself to justice for animals. He helped pioneer the study of animal rights law in the 1980s. In 2000, he became the first person to teach the subject at Harvard Law School, as a visiting lecturer. He began developing his animal personhood strategy after struggling with ineffective welfare laws and regulations that fail to keep animals out of abusive environments

This past December (2013), Steve Wise and his organization, the Nonhuman Rights Project, ignited a media frenzy when they filed the first-ever lawsuits demanding limited animal personhood rights for four chimpanzees in New York.




Animals are persons too (video)
The new documentary Unlocking the Cage [1, 2, 3] documents Steve’s Wise unprecedented challenge to break down the legal wall that separates animals from humans. The film raises significant questions about the complex legal interpretation of personhood but, more importantly, aims to contribute to the evolving debate about our society’s relationship to animals, why it is critical to protect them and how we can do it. In the wake of the cover story in New York Times magazine, people have been writing in to the Nonhuman Rights Project with lots of questions. You can see some of them, put by the former president of Best Friends Animal Society, Michael Mountain, to Steven M. Wise here and here


Relative links

- Film Legends' Next Revolutionary Project: Personhood Rights For Animals: thedodo.com 

Q & A with Attorney Steven M. Wise
 - Unlocking the Cage: Pursuit of personhood rights for chimpanzees in captivity: examiner.com
- 'Animals Are Persons Too": nytimes.com


Updates


 The new film "Unlocking the Cage" is about animals 
and renown attorney Steve Wise's battle to protect them.

D.A. Pennebaker interview - Support new documentary, get vintage Bob Dylan swag
 D. A. Pennebaker, the legendary filmmaker who directed such music-based documentaries, follows animal rights lawyer Steve Wise’s fight to give animals personhood rights and break down the legal wall separating them from humans. This past December, Steve and his organization, the Nonhuman Rights Project, ignited a media frenzy when they filed the first-ever lawsuits demanding limited animal personhood rights for four chimpanzees in New York State. Tommy, a 26 year-old former film actor living in a garage on a used trailer lot, became their first plaintiff… We hope that by exploring Steve’s lawsuit and illustrating the legal and ethical questions it raises, “Unlocking the Cage” will contribute to the evolving debate about our society’s relationship to animals and, more importantly, why we should protect them. It’s a personal story of a man with an uncompromising need to change the system.

Πέμπτη, 17 Απριλίου 2014

All the Places Around the World That Ban Dolphin Captivity

The movement within the marine park industry to discontinue keeping cetaceans in captivity is growing all over the world. Progressive countries no longer keep cetaceans in captivity, clearly recognizing that these animals belong in the vast open seas. Here is a short review of the recent history about this issue.


Based on article written by David Kirby at takepart.com

http://on.fb.me/1r1KY7H
1.- Bolivia
The Bolivian government made history in July 2009 by enacting the world's first ban on all animals in circuses and other public performance venues. The law was passed following an investigation by the U.K.’s Animal Defenders Internationall, which found widespread abuse in Bolivian circuses, according to The Guardian.

2.- Chile
Chilean law was amended in January 2005 to prohibit the capture or import of any cetacean species, “for public exhibition or any other objective associated to its utilization by man.”

3.- Costa Rica
The government of Costa Rica decreed new cetacean regulations in July 2005, making it  “strictly forbidden” to catch and kill marine mammals, keep cetaceans and other marine mammals captive, or touch, feed, or trap any marine mammal.

4.- Croatia
In July 2009, Croatia’s State Institute for Nature Protection enacted a regulation banning the keeping of cetaceans in captivity for commercial purposes. The decision was made following a study which recognised the adverse effects of dolphinaria and captivity on these wild animal species. The only exemption would be for the rehabilitation and return of sick or injured animals to their natural environment.

5.- Cyprus
The nonprofit group Animal Responsibility Cyprus (ARC) won a campaign to ban the importation of cetaceans in June 2011. The group says it was also successful in shutting down the Ayia Napa dolphinarium, the only one in the island nation, in 1999. Subsequent applications to open captive dolphin shows were refused by the authorities. In spite of Cyprus being a popular holiday spot, you will not see any so-called dolphinariums here. 

6.- Greece
A campaign by Animal Defenders International [i] and the Greek Animal Welfare Fund, backed by over 50 local animal protection groups across Greece [i], prompted the Greek government to enact a ban, in February 2012, on not only dolphin captivity but the use of ALL animals in circuses. Greek law now forbids using animals in "recreational games, car racing platforms, musical concerts, exhibitions, fairs or other artistic or entertaining festivities". In January 2014, the law was overwhelmingly upheld [i] by Parliament following a challenge by the Attica Zoological Park in Spata.

7.- Hungary
In 1992 five former military dolphins from the former Sovjet Union were flown to Hungary for public display. Very soon two of them died, two others were reported floating apathetically on the pool’s surface while the fifth animal continued to perform for crowds. Concerned witnesses contacted animal welfare activists to organize veterinarians to examine the animals. There was also a significant media response to the horrible conditions of the dolphins’ confinement. It was also revealed that these marine animals were being held in fresh water. The three surviving dolphins were confiscated soon after these revelations and, in spite of their ordeal, managed to recover and were returned to Ukraine, their country of origin. This sad story was the starting point for a long-running campaign to bring about a ban on the trade in bottlenose dolphins from the Black Sea – which was finally achieved in 2002. Since then, there have been no more captive dolphins held in Hungary.

8.- India
On May 20, 2013, India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests banned the keeping of captive dolphins for public entertainment (see the links 1 and 2). A statement from B.S. Bonal of the Central Zoo Authority declared that cetaceans do not in general survive well in captivity. “Confinement in captivity can seriously compromise the welfare and survival of all types of cetaceans by altering their behavior and causing extreme distress,” he said. The ministry even declared that dolphins “should be seen as ‘non-human persons’ and as such should have their own specific rights.” 

9.- Nicaragua
On Feb. 2, 2003, Jorge Salazar Cardenal, then Nicaragua’s minister of the environment, confirmed in a letter to the World Society for the Protection of Animals that his country had “banned the use and exploitation of bottlenose dolphins indefinitely.” Salazar added that the law “guarantees that in Nicaragua, these animals will be fully protected.”

10.- Slovenia
According to Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), Slovenian law “explicitly prohibits” the display of captive dolphins.

11.- Switzerland
The country’s House of Representatives handed a major victory to captivity opponents when it outlawed the “keeping of dolphins in aquariums or for entertainment purposes” in March 2012. The Swiss Senate also banned the importation of dolphins. Meanwhile, the last two dolphins remaining in the country were sold to a facility in Jamaica in December 2013.

 

United States

 

California
On Feb. 24, 2014, a proclamation declaring that all dolphins should have the right to freedom was passed by the Malibu City Council and subsequently signed by Mayor Joan House. “Whales and dolphins are known to be highly intelligent and emotional creatures,” it declared, “and therefore deserve the right to their own freedom and lives.” On March 6, California state Assemblymember Richard Bloom made international headlines by introducing the Orca Welfare and Safety Act, which would make it illegal to “hold in captivity, or use, a wild-caught or captive-bred orca for performance or entertainment purposes.” The bill would also ban captive breeding and artificial insemination of captive killer whales in California. On April 08, a vote on this bill was delayed by 18 months, pending an interim study. But, if it passes, California will join a growing list of U.S. states and localities and at least 14 countries that have outlawed the captive display of orcas, dolphins, and in some cases, all wild animals.

New York
State Sen. Greg Ball surprised anti-captivity activists by introducing a bill, in February 2014, to ban “the possession and harboring of killer whales in aquariums and sea parks” in the state. On March 25, the Senate Standing Committee on Environmental Conservation voted in favor of the bill. New York has no captive orcas, but the symbolic measure is nonetheless being closely watched by animal welfare activists.

South Carolina
In 1982, activist Mark Berman, now at the Earth Island Institute, home to Ric O'Barry's Dolphin Project, helped pass the first and only U.S. state law to ban marine mammals in captivity. In 2001, state officials amended the law, limiting protections to just cetaceans after Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia announced plans for a sea lion exhibit. “We will work very hard to defend the law if there’s any attempt to change it further,” Berman said in November 2013.

Hawaii
When a developer proposed, in 2002, to construct a dolphinarium at a Maui shopping center, the Pacific Whale Foundation and other groups successfully lobbied the Maui County Council to ban the display of any captive whale or dolphins.


Others

A few countries have standards so strict that it is nearly impossible to keep cetaceans in captivity, including Brazil, Luxembourg, Nicaragua, Norway, and the United Kingdom, where the last dolphinarium was closed in 1993. No company has been able to open in the U.K. since then, "because imposed standards exceed the viability of establishing a dolphinarium in the country". 

In Armenia, the first and only dolphinarium has been closed following completion of its operation term. The dolphinarium building is currently being dismantled, with dolphins taken back to Ukraine after the last performance on February 9, 2013, the dolfinarium director Lilit Sahakyan told PanARMENIAN.Net. Ever since its opening, the dolphinarium activity had been widely criticized by ecologists who suggested that dolphins weren't provided with normal conditions and could go blind because of chlorinated water.

Unfortunately, more than 2.100 dolphins and whales are still being held in captivity at 343 facilities in 63 countries around the world, with the highest numbers of dolphinariums located in Japan (57), China (44), the United States (34), Russia (24), and Mexico (24), according to the Born Free Foundation. In Europe, a total of 15 Member States currently have 34 captive dolphin facilities (dolphinaria) displaying about 300 small whales, dolphins and porpoises.


Source: takepart.com --  yahoo.com -- Posted also here


WINNING THE CASE AGAINS CRUELTY


DAVID KIRBY (1, 2, 3) is the author of the New York Times bestseller Evidence of Harm, and Animal Factory, an acclaimed investigation into the environmental impact of factory farms. His latest book is Death at SeaWorld.  


"I didn’t even know orcas were dolphins. I just hadn’t thought about it... And when I saw they die in captivity at much greater rates – that was it.” The more he learned, the more involved he became. Read more at Animal Book Club: Interview with David Kirby










Relative Articles - Links

  • Η ΒΟΛΙΒΙΑ ΓΙΝΕΤΑΙ Η ΠΡΩΤΗ ΧΩΡΑ ΣΤΟΝ ΚΟΣΜΟ ΠΟΥ ΑΠΑΓΟΡΕΥΕΙ ΤΗΝ ΕΚΜΕΤΑΛΛΕΥΣΗ ΟΛΩΝ ΤΩΝ ΖΩΩΝ ΣΤΑ ΤΣΙΡΚΟ: solon.org.gr
  • Bolivia Bans Wild and Domestic Animals in Traveling Circuses: ens-newswire.com
  • The Science on Suffering: Findings of investigation presented to the Bolivian Congress together with a report from Animal Defenders International on the scientific evidence of suffering of animals in traveling circuses. Click here to read or download. 
  • Croatia bans keeping whales and dolphins in captivity: endcap.eu
  • Croatia has now prohibited the keeping of whales and dolphins in captivity: bornfree.org.uk 
  • Croatia Bans Keeping Whale And Dolphins In Captivity: us.whales.org 
  • Stop Circus Suffering campaign in Greece: ad-international.org [Note: On January 2014, following a challenge by the Attica Zoological Park over its dolphin displays, the Ministry of Rural Development & Food considered revising the ban to exempt the establishment. But finally Common sense prevailed and the parliament voted in favour and upheld the ban but this demonstrates that we must remain ever vigilant.]
  • THANK YOU GREECE: Fb
  • Attempt of the Ministry of Rural Development to bring back wild animal shows in zoos: Fb
  • India bans captive dolphin shows, says dolphins should be seen as ‘non-human persons’ : treehugger.com
  • Capture and transport is inarguably stressful and dangerous for cetaceans, say officials in India: takepart.com
  • Nicaraguan government bans dolphin exploitation: eurocbc.org 
  • Freedom! Switzerland Bans Dolphins in Captivity: takepart.com
  • Following votes in both houses of parliament, the keeping of dolphins or whales in Swiss zoos or waterparks will be forced to come to an end: swissinfo.ch
  • SWITZERLAND: Fb
  • A proclamation declaring that all dolphins should have the right to freedom was passed by the Malibu City Council: malibutimes.com
  • California Lawmaker to Propose Ban on Orcas in Captivity: takepart.com
  • A bill that would ban keeping orca whales in captivity in New York passed on Tuesday, March 2014: thedodo.com 
  • Marine mammal law in South Carolina protects whales, dolphins for now (November 2013): postandcourier.com
  • There are currently no captive whales or dolphins in the United Kingdombornfree.org.uk
  • In the European Union (EU), there are 34 captive cetacean facilities across 15 countries : bornfree.org.uk   
DAVID KIRBY is the author of 'Evidence of Harm,' which was a New York Times bestseller, winner of the 2005 Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) award for best book, and a finalist for the New York Public Library Helen Bernstein Award for Excellence in Journalism, and 'Animal Factory,' an acclaimed investigation into the environmental impact of factory farms which NPR compared to Upton Sinclair’s classic work 'The Jungle.' His latest book, 'Death at SeaWorld,' was previewed by Library Journal, which wrote: “Lives are at stake here, and Kirby can be trusted to tell the story, having won a passel of awards for his investigate work.” Booklist called the book “gripping” and “hard to put down.” - See more at: http://deathatseaworld.com/?author=1#sthash.O2U5E43Y.dpuf


Thank you for reading!



ΕΝΘΕΤΟ

Deaths, drugs, distress: why marine parks are losing their attraction
Κατά 15% μείωση παρουσιάζει η επισκεψιμότητα στα θαλάσσια πάρκα της SeaWorld, από τον περασμένο Ιανουάριο, γεγονός το οποίο αποδίδεται στο ντοκιμαντέρ Blackfish. Το ντοκιμαντέρ αυτό έκανε γνωστή στο ευρύ κοινό την τεράστια ταλαιπωρία και υποβάθμιση που υφίστανται οι όρκες και τα δελφίνια, όταν κρατούνται στην αιχμαλωσία για να εξυπηρετήσουν αυτόν τον παρωχημένο τρόπο διασκέδασης, ενώ 1,2 εκατομμύρια άτομα υπέγραψαν την αίτηση που ζητά την απαγόρευση των παραστάσεων στην Καλιφόρνια. Ο πρόεδρος της SeaWorld San Diego, John Reilly, ισχυρίζεται ότι η ταινία δεν βασίζεται στην επιστημονική αλήθεια, αλλά προσπαθεί να επηρεάσει αρνητικά τον κόσμο μέσα από συναισθηματική ευαισθητοποίηση και προπαγάνδα, και ότι οι παραστάσεις έχουν εκπαιδευτική αξία, καθώς μπορεί να αποτελέσουν "πηγή έμπνευσης" για το κοινό.

"Κάθε άλλο παρά πηγή έμπνευσης είναι η υποβάθμιση και ο εξευτελισμός αυτών των ζώων, στις παραστάσεις", δηλώνει ο επικεφαλής της οργάνωσης Born Free Foundation, Will Travers. Σύμφωνα με την οργάνωση αυτή, περισσότερα από 2100 κητώδη διατηρούνται, σήμερα, σε αιχμαλωσία, σε 343 επιχειρήσεις, σε 63 χώρες, σε ολόκληρο τον κόσμο. Ο μεγαλύτερος αριθμός δελφιναρίων σημειώνεται στην Ιαπωνία, στην Κίνα, στις Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες και στο Μεξικό. Τα περισσότερα δελφινάρια της Βόρειας Αμερικής όμως, έχουν πλέον βρεθεί στο στόχαστρο περιβαλλοντικών οργανώσεων που ασχολούνται με την προστασία και την διατήρηση της άγριας ζωής, ενώ ήδη έχουν αρχίσει και οι πρώτες νομοθετικές ρυθμίσεις προς την κατεύθυνση της απαγόρευσης. Η υποβάθμιση της ευζωίας των κητωδών και οι ασθένειες που σχετίζονται με το στρες, είναι το κύριο επιχείρημα στο οποίο βασίζεται το αίτημα για την απαγόρευση της αιχμαλωσίας τους.

"Δεν κατηγορούμε τους επιχειρηματίες και τους φροντιστές ότι κακοποιούν τα ζώα, δηλώνει η νευροεπιστήμων του πανεπιστημίου Emory, Dr Lori Marino. Πολλά θαλάσσια πάρκα κάνουν ό,τι καλύτερο μπορούν για να φροντίσουν τα ζώα τους και να τους παρέχουν κτηνιατρική περίθαλψη. Το πρόβλημα όμως βρίσκεται στην φύση αυτών των ειδών: Τα κητώδη δεν μπορούν να προσαρμοστούν στην αιχμαλωσία. Ευζωία για τα αιχμάλωτα κητώδη δεν μπορεί να υπάρξει. Περισσότερο απ' όλα υποφέρουν οι όρκες, οι μπελούγκες ταλαιπωρούνται επίσης, ενώ τα ρινοδέλφινα τα καταφέρνουν λιγάκι καλύτερα, χωρίς αυτό να σημαίνει ότι και αυτά δεν εξακολουθούν να αρρωσταίνουν και να πεθαίνουν πρόωρα από ασθένειες που σχετίζονται με το στρες της αιχμαλωσίας".

Διαβάστε περισσότερα στους παρακάτω συνδέσμους: theguardian.com, todayonline, independent.co.uk
DAVID KIRBY is the author of 'Evidence of Harm,' which was a New York Times bestseller, winner of the 2005 Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) award for best book, and a finalist for the New York Public Library Helen Bernstein Award for Excellence in Journalism, and 'Animal Factory,' an acclaimed investigation into the environmental impact of factory farms which NPR compared to Upton Sinclair’s classic work 'The Jungle.' His latest book, 'Death at SeaWorld,' was previewed by Library Journal, which wrote: “Lives are at stake here, and Kirby can be trusted to tell the story, having won a passel of awards for his investigate work.” Booklist called the book “gripping” and “hard to put down.” - See more at: http://deathatseaworld.com/?author=1#sthash.O2U5E43Y.dpuf
DAVID KIRBY is the author of 'Evidence of Harm,' which was a New York Times bestseller, winner of the 2005 Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) award for best book, and a finalist for the New York Public Library Helen Bernstein Award for Excellence in Journalism, and 'Animal Factory,' an acclaimed investigation into the environmental impact of factory farms which NPR compared to Upton Sinclair’s classic work 'The Jungle.' His latest book, 'Death at SeaWorld,' was previewed by Library Journal, which wrote: “Lives are at stake here, and Kirby can be trusted to tell the story, having won a passel of awards for his investigate work.” Booklist called the book “gripping” and “hard to put down.” - See more at: http://deathatseaworld.com/?author=1#sthash.O2U5E43Y.dpuf
DAVID KIRBY is the author of 'Evidence of Harm,' which was a New York Times bestseller, winner of the 2005 Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) award for best book, and a finalist for the New York Public Library Helen Bernstein Award for Excellence in Journalism, and 'Animal Factory,' an acclaimed investigation into the environmental impact of factory farms which NPR compared to Upton Sinclair’s classic work 'The Jungle.' His latest book, 'Death at SeaWorld,' was previewed by Library Journal, which wrote: “Lives are at stake here, and Kirby can be trusted to tell the story, having won a passel of awards for his investigate work.” Booklist called the book “gripping” and “hard to put down.” - See more at: http://deathatseaworld.com/?author=1#sthash.O2U5E43Y.dpuf

Τρίτη, 15 Απριλίου 2014

Απομυθοποιώντας την αιχμαλωσία


Μaddalena Bearzi 
Dolphin Biology & Conservation 
Κάθε φορά που επανέρχεται το ερώτημα σχετικά με την αναγκαιότητα της διατήρησης δελφινιών σε αιχμαλωσία, τα θαλάσσια πάρκα και τα δελφινάρια δεν χάνουν την ευκαιρία να παίξουν το τελευταίο τους χαρτί: αυτό που θέλει την επιστημονική έρευνα και την εκπαίδευση του κοινού σε άμεση εξάρτηση από την συνέχιση της λειτουργίας τους. Και μπορεί να είναι αλήθεια ότι αρκετές μελέτες που έγιναν σε συνθήκες αιχμαλωσίας, κατά το παρελθόν, έχουν τροφοδοτήσει τις βασικές μας γνώσεις για τα δελφίνια, και έχουν βοηθήσει στην κατανόηση των ζώων αυτών. Μπορεί να είναι αλήθεια ότι, σε μια προγενέστερη χρονική περίοδο, οι ερευνητές δεν είχαν την δυνατότητα να αποκτήσουν αυτές τις γνώσεις στην ανοικτή θάλασσα, γιατί δεν διέθεταν τα κατάλληλα μέσα. Τώρα πλέον όμως, ο κόσμος και η επιστήμη έχουν αλλάξει, και η τεχνολογία μάς παρέχει την δυνατότητα να μελετήσουμε τα δελφίνια στον φυσικό τους βιότοπο.  

Με απώτερο σκοπό την διαχείριση και προστασία των κητωδών στην ανοικτή θάλασσα, οι τεχνητές συνθήκες που επικρατούν στις εγκαταστάσεις των δελφιναρίων, συνήθως αποτελούν περιοριστικό παράγοντα της έρευνας στην αιχμαλωσία. Και είναι γεγονός ότι αυτού του είδους η έρευνα μπορεί να μάς οδηγήσει ακόμα και σε παραπλανητικά συμπεράσματα. Πολλές μελέτες εστιάζουν περισσότερο στις τεχνικές της εκπαίδευσης και στην βελτίωση του τρόπου διαχείρισης αυτών των ζώων στην αιχμαλωσία, και δεν μπορούν να χρησιμεύσουν στην μελέτη ελεύθερων δελφινιών. Για παράδειγμα, μελέτες σχετικές με τις ασθένειες των δελφινιών, που έγιναν σε συνθήκες αιχμαλωσίας, δεν έχουν προσφέρει καμία απολύτως βοήθεια στην πρόληψη ιογενών και άλλων επιδημιών που μπορεί να οδηγήσουν τους άγριους πληθυσμούς σε μαζικούς θανάτους.

Από τα έσοδα που προκύπτουν από την πώληση των εισιτηρίων στα δελφινάρια, μόνον ένα μικρό ποσοστό (και αυτό όχι πάντοτε) χρησιμοποιείται για επιστημονική έρευνα, ενώ λιγότερο από 10% των ζωολογικών κήπων ή δελφιναρίων συμμετέχουν σε ερευνητικά προγράμματα σχετικά με την διατήρηση των ειδών.

Ο πιο συνηθισμένος ισχυρισμός πολλών δελφιναρίων είναι ότι παρέχουν σημαντικές ευκαιρίες εκπαίδευσης, οι οποίες - όπως διατείνονται - μπορούν να ευαισθητοποιήσουν το κοινό σε θέματα προστασίας και διατήρησης των δελφινιών. Όμως αυτό δεν είναι αλήθεια. Εδώ, ή ένσταση συνίσταται στον ορισμό της εκπαιδευτικής αξίας, τον οποίον μπορεί να δώσει κανείς. Τι εκπαιδευτική αξία μπορεί να έχει για ένα παιδί η επίσκεψη σε ένα θαλάσσιο πάρκο; Όταν δεν βλέπει και δεν κατανοεί την πραγματική φύση των ζώων που βρίσκονται εκεί, πώς μπορεί να είναι εκπαιδευτική αυτή η εμπειρία για το παιδί; Αυτά τα ζώα που κάνουν άλματα και πιτσιλίζουν τον κόσμο με νερά, κατόπιν εντολής, ή δέχονται ένα ψάρι από το χέρι ενός εκπαιδευτή, κατά τη διάρκεια μιας παράστασης, εμφανίζουν απλά και μόνον μια στερεότυπη, τύπου κλόουν, συμπεριφορά που έχει ελάχιστη ή και καμία σχέση με την αληθινή τους φύση. Στερημένα από τον φυσιολογικό ζωτικό τους χώρο και τα κοινωνικά δίκτυα στα οποία ανήκουν, τα δελφίνια αλλάζουν. Τα αιχμάλωτα δελφίνια δεν έχουν τίποτα κοινό με εκείνα που ζουν ελεύθερα στην ανοικτή θάλασσα.

Εάν, αντί να πάτε στο δελφινάριο, συνοδεύσετε το παιδί σας, σε ένα θαλασσινό ταξίδι παρατήρησης δελφινιών, μπορείτε να τού προσφέρετε την ευκαιρία να δεί - έστω μια φορά, έστω
και με μια και μόνη φευγαλέα ματιά - την αληθινή ζωή των ελεύθερων δελφινιών. Και να καταλάβει τι πραγματικά είναι τα δελφίνια και πώς συμπεριφέρονται μέσα στις δικές τους "οικογένειες". Και να σκεφτεί το γιατί, μαζί με αυτά, είναι ανάγκη να προστατεύσουμε και το περιβάλλον στο οποίο ζούν. Αυτά είναι τα πραγματικά σημαντικά μαθήματα διατήρησης και προστασίας, για ένα παιδί.

Μάς λένε ότι, κρατώντας τα κλεισμένα σε μια δεξαμενή, τα σώζουμε από την ρύπανση των θαλασσών, από την υπεραλίευση, ακόμη και από την εξαφάνιση, και ότι τα προγράμματα αναπαραγωγής στην αιχμαλωσία γίνονται με σκοπό την διατήρησή τους. Όμως, τα περιβαλλοντικά προβλήματα δεν αντιμετωπίζονται με την απομάκρυνση των δελφινιών από την φυσική τους κατοικία. Και ο ισχυρισμός, ότι αυτά τα προγράμματα βοηθούν τα είδη που κινδυνεύουν ή απειλούνται, είναι σφαλερός, πόσο μάλιστα αν λάβουμε υπόψη ότι, κατά κανόνα, τα ζώα που
κρατούνται στην αιχμαλωσία ΔΕΝ ανήκουν σε απειλούμενα είδη. Τα προγράμματα αναπαραγωγής στην αιχμαλωσία ένα και μόνον πράγμα προσφέρουν: τον συνεχή ανεφοδιασμό των δελφιναρίων με δελφίνια-εκθέματα για την διασκέδαση των ανθρώπων.

Οι κακές έως τρισάθλιες συνθήκες που επικρατούν ακόμα σε πολλές εγκαταστάσεις σε όλον τον κόσμο, και το υψηλό ποσοστό νοσηρότητας και θνησιμότητας των ζώων, αποτελούν μόνον μερικούς από τους επιπλέον λόγους, εξ αιτίας των οποίων η αιχμαλωσία δεν ταιριάζει στα δελφίνια. Κανένα δελφινάριο ή θαλάσσιο πάρκο, όσο περίτεχνο και αν είναι, δεν μπορεί να εξασφαλίσει ποτέ τις πολύπλοκες φυσιολογικές και ψυχοδιανοητικές απαιτήσεις κανενός δελφινιού. Για να μην αναφερθούμε στον αριθμό των ατόμων που σκοτώνονται κατά την διαδικασία της σύλληψης, και το στρες που υφίστανται τα ζώα αυτά, όταν χωρίζονται από τους συντρόφους και το κοινωνικό τους δίκτυο.

Τα δελφίνια είναι πλάσματα με υπερανεπτυγμένο εγκέφαλο, συναίσθηση και γνωστικές λειτουργίες. Περνούν την ζωή τους μέσα σε πολυσύνθετες κοινωνίες, στα πελάγη και στους ωκεανούς, και διακρίνονται για τον συναισθηματικό τους κόσμο και την προσωπική τους ταυτότητα. Και είναι καιρός να παραδεχτούμε ότι ο μόνος λόγος, εξ αιτίας του οποίου συνεχίζουμε να κρατούμε αιχμάλωτα αυτά τα θαυμαστά, ευφυή και κοινωνικά ζώα, εξυπηρετεί έναν δικό μας τρόπο διασκέδασης, έναν τρόπο διασκέδασης που τροφοδοτεί το κίνητρο της απόκτησης χρημάτων, πολλών χρημάτων. 


Απόσπασμα άρθρου που δημοσιεύτηκε στην ενότητα Ocean Views, της ηλεκτρονικής μορφής του National Geographic, στις 8 Απριλίου 2014. Ολόκληρο το άρθρο στα Αγγλικά, μπορείτε να το διαβάσετε εδώ: http://bit.ly/1qznvfv (Fb National Geographic, Fb Ocean Conservation Society, Fb Maddalena Bearzi)
 
Η Maddalena Bearzi (Ph.D) μελετά την οικολογία και διατήρηση των θαλασσίων θηλαστικών, εδώ και περισσότερα από 25 χρόνια. Είναι πρόεδρος και ιδρυτικό μέλος της οργάνωσης Ocean Conservation Society, and συγγραφέας του βιβλίου Beautiful Minds: The Parallel Lives of Great Apes and Dolphins (Harvard University Press, 2008). Εργάζεται επίσης, ως φωτορεπόρτερ και αρθρογράφος. Το τελευταίο της βιβλίο είναι το Dolphin Confidential: Confessions of a Field Biologist (Chicago University Press, 2012)  


Σχετικός σύνδεσμος: Debunking Captivity

Δευτέρα, 14 Απριλίου 2014

Debunking Captivity



Maddalena Bearzi at dolphinbiology.org
nationalgeographic.com 
Marine parks and delphinaria tend to play the "research card" every time there is a question about why we keep dolphins in captivity. It’s true that, in the past, some captivity studies on dolphins have helped fuel our basic understanding of these animals; an understanding that researchers of that era could not have obtained at sea because of technical and logistical obstacles. But the world and science have changed and we now have the technology and means to more effectively study dolphins in their own habitats.

Generally speaking, because of the artificial settings, research in captivity provides little knowledge that can be applied to the protection and management of these species at sea. In fact, this kind of research can even be misleading. Many published studies on captive animals focus on training techniques and improvement of husbandry practices, which have no relevance to dolphins living in the wild. For example: captive studies on dolphin diseases have failed to predict outbreaks of viruses in wild populations that may often cause mass mortality. 

Further, only a small fraction of the money coming from tickets sold at facilities that keep dolphins in captivity is used for research (if at all) and less than ten percent of delphinaria or zoos are involved in research conservation programs, either in situ or in the wild. 

The most common claim of many delphinaria is that they provide great educational opportunities, which they contend may lead to public concern for dolphin conservation. But this just isn’t true. The big difference in opinion here rests on one’s definition of educational value. Just think about taking a child to a marine park. This is not an educational experience because the child doesn’t see or understand what these animals are really about. Jumping and splashing on command or catching a fish from the hand of a trainer during a performance is just stereotyped, clown-esque behavior that shows little if anything of these animals' everyday life. Deprived of their natural space and social structures, dolphins change. Captive dolphins have nothing in common with those I have come to know in the wild.

Instead, think about taking your child out to sea on a reputable whale-watching trip. Even in a single trip out on the ocean, a child might have the chance to glimpse into the real life of wild dolphins. At sea, one can better understand who dolphins are and how they behave in company of their own "families". At sea, one will see why we need to protect not just them, but also the environment in which they live. These are truly important lessons in conservation for a child.

A second claim is that by keeping them in a tank we are saving them from pollution and overfishing, even extinction, and that captive breeding programs are for conservation motives. Removing dolphins from their natural habitat to live in tanks will not address environmental issues. And the statement that these programs help endangered or threatened species is faulty, especially considering that the endangered species are generally not the ones being kept in captivity. Captive breeding programs do provide one thing: a constant supply of dolphins for display and human amusement.

There are many other reasons why keeping these animals in captivity is wrong, such as the poor, often terrible, conditions in which dolphins are still kept in many facilities worldwide, and the high illness and mortality rate of captive animals. No state of the art captive aquarium or marine park can ever meet the complex physiological and psychological needs of a dolphin, or most other animals, for that matter. And we have not yet mentioned the number of individuals killed in the process of being captured, and the stress these animals go through when separated from their companions and social networks. 

Dolphins are large-brained, cognitive animals. They live in complex societies in the open ocean and they have emotions and personalities. And it’s time we recognize that the only, true reason we still keep these magnificent, large brained and socially complex creatures captive is for our entertainment; entertainment for the motive of making money, and lots of it.


Posted in Ocean Views, on April 8, 2014 at nationalgeographic.com


Maddalena Bearzi Ph.D has studied the ecology and conservation of marine mammals for over twenty-five years. She is President and Co-founder of the Ocean Conservation Society, and Co-author of Beautiful Minds: The Parallel Lives of Great Apes and Dolphins (Harvard University Press, 2008). She also works as a photo-journalist and blogger for several publications. Her most recent book is Dolphin Confidential: Confessions of a Field Biologist (Chicago University Press, 2012)  
 

Μετάφραση στα Ελληνικά at http://filikaki-blog.blogspot.gr/2014/04/debunking-captivity_15.html


Παρασκευή, 11 Απριλίου 2014

Zoos or Morgues? What is Going on in Europe?



Yes, another European zoo ""euthanized"" another young and healthy animal!


Tierpark Dählhölzli (Facebook)
http://on.fb.me/1qIMI5s 
  In the wake of the recent killing of four healthy lions and a giraffe at Copenhagen Zoo, a healthy 3 month-old bear cub has been euthanased at another European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) member zoo, this time in Switzerland. It appears the decision was made to kill the cub after the adult male attacked and killed the cub’s sibling. 

On April 2, the Tierpark Dählhölzli (Fb) zoo in Bern came under fire after Misha, an 800-pound male Russian brown bear on display there attacked and killed one of his three-month-old offspring, called "Baby Bear 3". Despite the fact that the bear had exhibited aggression towards the cubs before, the zoo had decided to allow the young animals to remain with both their parents in the enclosure. 

In the wild, female bears usually drive away the male after giving birth in order to protect the cubs, because the male can perceive them as a rival and try to kill them. As Professor Djuro Huber, chairman of the brown bear expert team for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, told MailOnline, "it was a shame to allow the male to kill his cub in the zoo. In nature the male bear separates from the female after mating season and is not present with his cubs. It is not unusual that the male kills his cubs in captivity. Even the mother sometimes does. But zoos have too many captive bears and it is almost impossible to send them somewhere. Surplus bears have to be euthanised". 

The zoo says that the parents of the two cubs, Misha, and his mate Masha - gifts from Russia's former-President Dmitry Medvedev in 2009 - were hand raised and had not learned how to properly care for their own young. And while the move to keep the animals together sparked criticism from animal activists, the zoo announced that it had decided to end the "distress and pain" the other youngster was suffering. Indeed, this past Monday (April 7), the zoo took measures to ensure that the "Baby Bear 4" doesn’t meet that same fate - by "euthanizing" it!

This isn't the first time a healthy captive animal has been destroyed at the hands of the facility which oversaw its birth. Earlier this year, the Copenhagen Zoo’s decision to kill a healthy young giraffe, named Marius, because he didn't fit into the zoo's breeding program, sparked international outrage while bringing to light what is said to be a common practice in zoos. A little more than a month later, the same zoo also killed four healthy lions, including two young cubs. During the past two months five zoo animals have been needlessly killed, and these events have really stirred up innumerable people, including those who never got involved in issues centering on animal protection. So, Zoos or Morgues: What is Going on in Europe?

While the zoo claims the animals were euthanized, of course this wasn't mercy killing but rather one more "zoothanasia", heartless and needless elimination conducted by zoos when animals are deemed to surplus beings who no longer are useful to them or are too difficult to house. 

 "
We have seen too many innocent animals lose their lives at the hands of zoo officials unwilling to take responsibility for the individuals that they have deliberately brought into being. The problem is not Bern Zoo, Copenhagen Zoo or Longleat Safari Park; all of whom have slaughtered healthy animals in the name of 'management' in the last few months. The root of the issue is the very fact that these animals are kept in captivity in the first place", Captive Animals’ Protection Society (CAPS) Director, Liz Tyson, said. Culling "surplus" animals in this way is just one example of the practices carried out by zoos which prompted CAPS to start Zoo Awareness Weekend, in the early 1990s. According to CAPS, between 3,000 and 5,000 healthy animals are euthanized in zoos across Europe every year - a practice, critics say, that is ultimately focused more on preserving zoos’ bottom line than ensuring the well-being of the animals they house.

These absolutely unnecessary killings need to be openly and vigorously protested and the people who justify them in one way or another need to be taken to task. Anthrozoologists interested in the study of human-animal interactions really need to get some studies going to learn about what motivates people to view other animals as disposable objects and then claim it's okay to kill them as if they're throwing away a piece of furniture or garbage. Likewise, those people interested in compassionate conservation also need to continue to work to get people who are in charge of who lives and who dies to value the lives of sentient beings who deserve the best lives we can give them when they are being held captive. That is the least we can do for individuals who we keep in cages and whose freedom to live their lives as they're meant to be lived has been taken away. In conservation biology, Ethics must be firmly implanted.




Sources - References: 


Worth reading:

Oxford University Press

Amazon.com
(with a lot of info both in English and Greek) 

Ζωολογικοί κήποι ή νεκροτομεία; Τι συμβαίνει στην Ευρώπη;  http://on.fb.me/1qIMI5s (Fb)


Zoos have existed in their present form for nearly two-hundred years, originally intended to present the curious public with a host of exotic species which they would have likely never seen otherwise. But while these facilities have certainly helped educate and inspire generations since to the wonders of the natural world, zoos by design can only offer a filtered glimpse of the animals they contain -- with the creatures themselves paying the price for this experience through their lives of confinement. Our captivation, however, needn't require their captivity. Thanks to the proliferation of wildlife-monitoring web cameras today, it’s never been easier to recreate all the positive potential of zoos, but in a more enriching and humane way, by exhibiting animals in the setting nature intended: free in the wild. Welcome to The Dodo UnZoo -- a place to see all the animals we love without leaving home, and one that lets them remain in theirs. More at https://www.thedodo.com/welcome-to-the-dodo-unzoo-497272495.html



UPDATE
The Swiss zoo that killed a healthy bear cub earlier this month is finally facing legal action.