Animal activists praise Philippines move to stop exporting dolphins to Singapore
Mariam Yuan |
Singapore animal rights activists praise Philippines for barring dolphin exports to country.
SINGAPORE: Local animal rights activists have praised a Philippines government decision to bar the export of dolphins to Singapore, telling Bikyamasr.com it is a step in the right direction.
“We have been campaigning against this ridiculous treatment of animals by the Singapore government and finally our actions have paid off in the Philippines,” said Jayson Chang, an animal advocate in Singapore.
He said the move was “going to show the country that they cannot continue to be cruel to animals for profit.”
The Quezon City Regional Trial Court stopped the re-exportation of 25 dolphins to Singapore, local reports said.
At the same time, the court, through Executive Judge Bernelito Fernandez, also prohibited the importation of additional dolphins into the country.
“After a thorough review of the allegations in support of the prayer for the issuance of a TEPO, this office finds that there exists extreme urgency and that the subject 25 captive dolphins and the petitioners will suffer grave injustice and irreparable injury should the re-exporting of the said captive dolphins and the importing of additional dolphins into the country be undertaken at this time…This office hereby rules to grant the prayer for a 72-hour TEPO effective upon receipt of this order by the respondents,” the court said.
The dolphins are currently at the Ocean Adventure Park in Subic.
The case stemmed from a petition filed by the Earth Island Institute (EII)-Philippines, Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), CARA Welfare Philippines and several others against the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) to stop the re-exportation of 25 Solomon Island dolphins to Singapore.
It also comes on the heels of anger over the giant pandas who have arrived in the country from China and are set to go on public display this December in the city-state.
“We want all animals to not be in captivity and even more so these two pandas because they are not in their natural habitat,” animal rights campaigner Teresa Cho told Bikyamasr.com on Thursday afternoon as she and fellow activists were gathering to plan potential demonstrations against the panda’s remaining in Singapore.
Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) on Thursday announced that the pandas successfully completed the one month quarantine on October 6 and would not be prepared for public viewing.
The two pandas, five-year-old male Kai Kai and four-year-old Jia Jia – are expected to be the new stars in a brand new area of the Singapore Zoo.
They will make their public debut in December.
Singapore’s government has also begun selling souvenirs, such as panda-inspired bags and toys.
The panda pair, which are on a 10-year loan from the China Wildlife Conservation Association (CWCA) to Singapore, were initially meant to arrive in March, but their arrival was delayed because more changes had to be made to their $8.5 million enclosure.
Director of CWCA Zhong Yi told members of the media in mid-August that representatives made a visit of the 1,225 square meter panda enclosure in June and found everything in order.
Like their fellow animal rights activists in Malaysia, Singapore’s growing animal advocate community has condemned the government’s decision to accept a pair of pandas from China.
The activists told Bikyamasr.com that the conditions in Singapore “are not appropriate for pandas and the move would cause unnecessary stress for the animals.”