The worst fears of environmentalists and animal welfare advocates have come true. A dolphin has died on its way to the Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) Park in Singapore. Environmentalists say this may only be the beginning.
According to the press release of RWS, Wen-wen, a ten-year old male dolphin suddenly died an hour before reaching Singapore. This, despite the claim of RWS that veterinarians and marine mammal experts accompanied all the animals going to Singapore.
‘Dolphins do not live long in captivity. The entire process of capturing, training and transporting dolphins puts the animals at risk. The issue of the Solomon Island dolphins has proved exactly that—dolphins have died when they were captured, when they were being trained in Langkawi, (Malaysia), and now with their transport to Singapore. These animals are literally dying to entertain us,’ declared Trixie Concepcion of Earth Island Institute.
All 25 animals are subject of an on-going case for the violation of the Wildlife Conservation and Resources Act (RA 9147) filed by Earth Island Institute (EII), the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) and CARA Welfare Philippines. Despite ongoing hearings, however, RWS has been transporting the animals to Singapore since 17 November 2012. All 24 dolphins are now in Singapore.
‘In their panic to fly the animals out of the country, RWS with the permits from the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) had put the animals at risk, hence the death of this animal Wen-wen,’ said Anna Cabrera, Executive Director for the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS).
‘More than this, the act of RWS in transporting the dolphins is a blatant and brazen disrespect for the Philippine justice system. We are filing of charges for contempt of court to all those responsible for the transport of these animals,’ adds Cabrera.
Contempt of court is detailed in Section 4 Rule 71 of the Revised Rules on Civil Procedure for “any improper conduct, tending directly or indirectly, to impede, obstruct or to degrade the administration of justice” under Section 3 of the same rule.
“We are sad that the government allowed for this export to happen, says Nancy Cu-Unjieng of the CARA Welfare Philippines, “This can only mean that the Philippines is now allowing for the trade of animals from unsustainable sources. This is neither acceptable nor legal under international and Philippine law. Those responsible must be made accountable.”
Next hearing for the case is on 26 November 2012, Monday, 8:30am at Branch 101 of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court.
With all the dolphins now in Singapore, the current case filed by EII, PAWS and CARA has become moot and academic but environmentalists and animal welfare groups are intent on filing contempt and administrative charges on all those involved in the transfer of the dolphins.