New Year's message from Jane Goodall to Minister Ben Weyts

"Stop keeping dolphins in captivity"

Brussels, 29 December 2022 - With this video message and to serve as inspiration at the start of a new year, the famous primatologist Jane Goodall, UN Ambassador for Peace, in collaboration with GAIA and the Jane Goodall Institute, makes a direct appeal to the Flemish Minister for Animal Welfare Ben Weyts and the Government of Flanders.

Flanders is the only region in Belgium that still allows dolphins to be kept and bred in captivity (at the dolphinarium in Bruges). Jane Goodall calls for it to be banned in the north of the country as well. 

She specifically calls for the remaining dolphins at the dolphinarium in Bruges (Boudewijn Seapark), to be taken to a marine sanctuary, where they can lead a more natural life, and mentions that in Korea, captive dolphins have been released into the wild from this kind of sanctuary. Of course, this was after the different stages during which they were prepared for release. “Dolphins, with their big brains, deserve nothing less," Jane Goodall concludes.

Ann De Greef, GAIA Director states: "We are delighted that Jane Goodall, a world leading authority, is speaking out on the issue of dolphins in the Boudewijn Seapark in Bruges. She is absolutely right to say that keeping dolphins in captivity must end. We expect Ben Weyts to fulfil his duty as Minister for Animal Welfare and to respond to Ms Goodall's call by taking concrete action."

More info

Ann De Greef, GAIA Director: +32 (0)477 53 42 02

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About GAIA

GAIA – Global Action in the Interest of Animals – unites supporters for animal welfare and animal rights in Belgium since 1992. With over 80.000 affiliated members, GAIA denounces animal cruelty and abuse including thorough investigations, and active and peaceful campaigning.


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