We were surprised to learn that most people who visit marine parks do so out of a
love of animals. They love animals, especially whales and dolphins so want to see
them, and it’s easy to visit a marine park when on holiday. Furthermore they can
see that the trainers also love the animals, and they presume the trainers are marine
animal experts so therefore it must be OK. Additionally, although the number of new
marine parks is steady in most countries, Japan is building them at an alarming rate.
We need to reach the animal lovers in Japan to stop this expansion.
The issue of cetaceans in captivity is tenable - unlike some other animal welfare
issues the banning of cetaceans in captivity could happen in our lifetimes. In a
few countries it already has been banned. And its really about more than just cetaceans,
if we can recognise that it is not OK to keep these animals in captivity, then we
can move the discussion to other species.
The money will fund a short film (less than 10 minutes long) aimed at highlighting
the issues to the whale-loving public who might attend a marine park. Such people
are unlikely to go to see a film like Blackfish but could be reached by a short film.
The film will be made by Campaign Film - a professional company run by Andy Davies
who shares a passion for this cause. As well as being made available through YouTube
etc. it will be offered to the various groups and alliances working on this issue
and they will be given the opportunity for their logos to appear at the end. Subject
to acceptance it will hopefully be in time for showing at Whalefest in Brighton in
March 2014 - attended by thousands of people.
Preliminary discussions with several of the big organisations have been very positive
- this is what they have asked for repeatedly when answering the question ‘what can
we do to help?’. They want independently produced short films that they can support
and use. The film will be produced so that parts can be edited to be changed for
a Japanese audience but we need the English version first to secure funding for the
Japanese version. The film will be moving, persuasive and professionally produced,
a truly strong message.
As people who talk about natural behaviour, the needs of animals and welfare every
day of our professional lives let’s work together to do our part for the whales who
need us. PLEASE PLEASE be generous in supporting this project.
(And if you are not working as a behaviourist but would like to be involved you are
welcome to join!)
Comments from members
“I aim to improve peoples knowledge of how to teach and live with their horses and
dogs. I am also a Bowen therapist and am qualified to treat people, horses and dogs.
I wanted to join Behaviorists for Blackfish as it is such a good cause, anything
that helps raise awareness of issues like this is important.” Pennie Clayton, Horse
and Hound School
“Based in London, I work as a cat behaviourist, TTouch Practitioner for companion
animals and do one-to-one Life Skills teaching for puppies. I aim to help companion
animals express their natural behaviour while attaining or regaining a close and
harmonious relationship with their guardians.
I was so excited to hear about the formation of Behaviourists for Blackfish. I have
always been opposed to removing animals from the wild and placing them in captivity
for human entertainment, as I was always aware of their immense suffering from boredom,
loneliness, frustration and more. And learning about animal behaviour, and attempting
to apply the knowledge to companion animals to prevent their boredom, loneliness
or frustration - has made me sadder and more ashamed to be part of the species who
perpetuate the misery of captive wild animals. I salute Suzanne Rogers and her colleagues
for acting now to call on behaviourists to challenge and campaign against this outdated
practice.” Vicky Alhadeff, Happy Dogs and Cats
“This is not my speciality and I am limited as to my input, but very happy to support
the cause, especially considering its wider implications.” David Ryan, dog behaviour
Articles and thoughts about parallels between other animals and captive cetaceans