The Animal Law Institute (ALI) has started legal action in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia on behalf of Australia for Dolphins against a Coffs Harbour marine park, Dolphin Marine Magic (DMM), for misleading and deceptive conduct. Dolphin Marine Magic currently holds five dolphins in captivity at its marine park.
“Dolphin Marine Magic continues to claim on its website that the animals that they care for are happy and healthy - this includes the five dolphins currently at the park. We say that this claim is misleading as dolphins in captivity suffer stress, behavioural abnormalities, high mortality rates, decreased longevity, breeding problems and their welfare is generally compromised in artificial captive environments” says Malcolm Caulfield, Principal Lawyer at The Animal Law Institute.
“We say that Dolphin Marine Magic has no basis for representing that the dolphins at the Marine Park are happy. We point to the statement by Paige Sinclair, the CEO on the television show The Project on Thursday 30 March where she acknowledged that she personally couldn’t say if the dolphins are happy and healthy.”
It is also alleged that claims by Dolphin Marine Magic that rehabilitation is at the heart of everything it does at its marine park are misleading, as rehabilitation does not make up the majority of the respondent’s activities at the Marine Park.
“In reality, we say that Dolphin Marine Magic has only rehabilitated one dolphin at the marine park between 2010 and 2015.” “Dolphin Marine Magic has been making most of these claims on its website for almost two years”.
It is also alleged that Dolphin Marine Magic is misleading in its claims that:
- it provides a high standard of care to all of the dolphins at the marine park;
- its animal enclosures either meet or exceed the size requirements set out in the NSW Standards for the exhibition of animals; and
- its human and dolphin in-water interactions, which include rides on the dolphins, promote the dolphins’ welfare and wellbeing.
ALI is the only national non-profit community legal centre that is dedicated to protecting animals and advocating for their interests through the Australian legal system.
Contact: Amanda Richman, Volunteer Lawyer, Amanda@ali.org.au, 0425 233 649.