Friday 18 September 2020 | 0

Council of State dolphinarium decree: a rapporteur just doesn't get it!

Council of State dolphinarium decree:  a rapporteur just doesn't get it!

Mis à jour le 21 September 2020

The public rapporteur made a completely irrelevant remark about the hearing, our additional statement and our application during the hearing in the Council of State of 17 September relating to what we deem to be the State's failure to publish a new decree on dolphinariums similar to that of 2017. We make a post-hearing submission.
He made some questionable implications about what we would do with the damages, even though the Ministry of Ecology did not seem to reject our applications...

Hr blog

The failure to understand, by the person who is supposed to advise the Council of State!

Our association's application related to the measure contained in the 2017 decree banning the breeding and keeping of any new specimen of cetacean in French animal parks: 

« In order to ensure the protection of species, improve animal welfare and prevent animal suffering, keeping cetaceans in captivity is prohibited, with the exception of the species Orcinus orca and Tursiops truncatus already in captivity in authorized establishments in France on the date this decree comes into force. »

The rapporteur obviously had no idea what that meant!  He said that we were not showing that the 1981 decree was not valid.  We felt like replying:  "Obviously!"  We are not taking that decree into account, given that it legislates on the captivity that we are contesting here. 

Although cosmetic half-measures may satisfy some, they don't satisfy us because they don't get to the root of the problem!  The essential thing is that keeping animals in captivity must end.  And obviously that was not in the 1981 decree.

Showing that captivity per se is mistreatment

We showed that simply keeping dolphins and orcas in captivity is mistreating them.  We laid out, on more than forty pages in all, numerous arguments substantiated by documents appended to the file, such as the fact that captivity interferes with biodiversity, that cetaceans are non-human people.  We also produced statements from biologists who are international experts in cetaceans that showed that captivity is harmful to their welfare. 

The public rapporteur may be independent but he is not neutral.

Normally the public rapporteur is a member of the Council of State who makes a submission, reports on the arguments of both sides and advises the judges.  Why did he not present both arguments?  Why did he not say that the Ministry never rejected our applications and implicitly recognised their rationale, declaring:

« despite the delay, the willingness to adopt such measures relating to cetaceans in particular is still there and the work will resume as soon as possible. »

His irrelevant remark led us to think there had been a misinterpretation, a failure to understand the crux of the matter.  Was he really giving an independent opinion on animal welfare or, worse, was he biased?

Questioning our probity is an extremely serious matter!

Here is our response to his questionable and inappropriate implication, his "totally gratuitous remark" (sic)!  The association's accounts are audited and the allocation of donations is verified.

France currently allows dolphins to be bred and born in captivity even though the practice was supposed to have ended three years ago! 

One Voice is a founder member of a coalition the principal object of which is to set up sanctuaries for dolphins and orcas currently held in captivity.  A marine sanctuary costs more than ten million Euros to build.  In other words the sum demanded represents 5% of this amount or the equivalent of a year's running costs.  Damages of 500,000 Euros don’t seem much for the dolphins and the orcas who are the victims of irreversible harm!

translated by Patricia Fairey MCIL

Julia Mothé
Hr blog

In the subject

The court prohibit Marineland from relocating the orcas before the end of the independent assessment Marineland: One Voice has obtained a temporary ban on moving the orcas - hearing on 16/01/2024

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