Former NSW premier Bob Carr has called for a change in legislation to end dolphin captivity in Australia, slamming the practice as “exquisitely cruel”.
Targeting Dolphin Marine Magic in Coffs Harbour and Sea World on the Gold Coast, Mr Carr said it was time to tighten the law in NSW, which he implemented as the state’s minister for the environment in the 1980s.
“I made it an offence to capture dolphins and to take them out of the ocean and install them in pools and dolphinarium and as a result three dolphinariums in NSW closed down,” Mr Carr said. “There was an out left in the legislation that said if they’re born in captivity, then they can stay in captivity — and with that out clause, this dolphinarium (DMM) has continued.”
The former federal foreign minister said he was “persuaded by the argument that it is extremely cruel to breed dolphins for a life of captivity”.
“I just think this cannot be classed as family entertainment — it’s a version of cruelty directed at the species to which human should have instinctive respect,” he said
In a bid to close the loophole, Mr Carr has signed up as an ambassador for Australia for Dolphins, which today launches its “Show’s Over” campaign in a bid to close both dolphin parks.