Parc Astérix will stop offering shows with dolphins when it reopens at the end of the health crisis (illustrative image taken in Antibes in 2013).

ANIMAL WELFARE – Parc Astérix announced on Sunday January 24, in an interview at Parisian, the closure of its dolphinarium, which had eight dolphins, while the bill against animal abuse to ban the detention of cetaceans is to be debated on Tuesday 26 in the National Assembly.

In a press release published on his website, the Dolphinarium of the famous amusement park located in the Oise, dating from 1989, indicates that this “decision to close is based on the desire to concentrate on its historic activity as an amusement park”.

“We’ve been thinking about it for years. I would even say that the decision was taken three years ago ”, told the Parisian the general manager of the park, Nicolas Kremer.

Cetacean shows could be banned

On Tuesday, the National Assembly will begin its first reading examination of the draft law to combat animal abuse. This text provides in particular that the detention and reproduction of cetaceans in captivity is prohibited, as is their participation in shows. In France, three establishments have them: Parc Astérix, Planète Sauvage, Marineland.

The eight dolphins of Parc Astérix will be “transferred during the first quarter of 2021 to dolphinariums among the 27 Europeans recognized by scientific and governmental bodies, meeting the best animal welfare criteria set out by the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA ) and respecting the requirements of the European Association of Aquatic Mammals (EAAM) with regard to the correct genetic mix ”, indicates the park owned by the Compagnie des Alpes group.

An impossible reintroduction into the natural environment

He underlines that “after studying the options and in the light of our numerous discussions with scientific experts and competent veterinarians, it appeared that no site or reintroduction program offered the required guarantees” for dolphins born in tanks or living there for almost 30 years.

“By their age, their mostly captive origin and the geographic distance from their original populations, these dolphins could not be considered as animals that could be the subject of a reintroduction program offering all the certainties as to their safety. ”, Continues the Parc Astérix.

For Nicolas Kremer, “this was the best solution to ensure them good living conditions. Reintroduction into the natural environment is impossible for these animals bred in captivity. The marine sanctuaries are only at the planning stage, ”he told the Parisian, specifying that “50% of visitors” came to see the show with the dolphins.

Closed due to restrictions related to the outbreak of covid-19, the park – which welcomes more than 2 million visitors a year – has scheduled its reopening for April 3.

See also on the HuffPost: At Christmas, these disguised elephants anger animal rights activists