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May 14, 2013

HSI/India Calls on Greater Cochin Development Authority to Reveal Public Expenditures for Pursuit of Misguided Dolphinarium Project

Humane Society International/India

  • Public funds would be better invested in the conservation of existing flora and fauna and the development of eco-tourism opportunities in India. Karen Massier/istock

Concerned with a recent news report regarding creation of a dolphinarium in Kerala, Humane Society International/India calls for a full accounting of public funds used to explore the project’s viability, when in fact, the project has been deemed unlawful by several federal government agencies.

N. Venugopal, chairman of the Greater Cochin Development Authority, appears to be pushing ahead with plans for a dolphinarium in Kochi, despite opposition from animal-protection groups and a consensus in government that the project goes against India’s 1960 Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. In a news article, Venugopal says GCDA will study “the legal aspects and guidelines” issued by the Animal Welfare Board of India and the Ministry of Environment and Forests, and then submit a plan for the dolphinarium to the Centre.  

“The science is growing that dolphinariums are inhumane. These are intelligent, self-aware and social animals and being confined and controlled is not in their best interests,” said N.G. Jayasimha, managing director for HSI/India. “We know that a dolphinarium has been deemed unlawful. What the public doesn’t know, and has a right to know, is how much public money is being spent by the Greater Cochin Development Authority to pursue this misguided project, which should no longer be up for consideration. Public funds should be invested in the conservation of existing flora and fauna or the development of eco-tourism opportunities focused on the already abundant and free-ranging populations of dolphins in the waters surrounding Kochi.” 

In January, the AWBI issued a directive that dolphinariums are unlawful. Additionally, AWBI, The Central Zoo Authority, the Ministry of Environment and Forests, and the Chief Minister of Kerala Oomen Chandy, in their communications to HSI/India and other animal protection groups, have explicitly stated that dolphinariums shall not be allowed under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.


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Media contact: N.G. Jayasimha, mobile: 09490732614, email: ngjayasimha@hsi.org

Humane Society International/India and its partner organisations together constitute one of the world's largest animal protection organisations. For more than 20 years, HSI has been working for the protection of all animals through the use of science, advocacy, education and hands-on programmes. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide — on the Web at hsi.org.

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