To mark the 30th year since the closure of the last facility holding whales and dolphins captive in the UK, and as part of our push for legislation to stop one ever opening here again, we staged a unique exhibition event at the House of Commons today in conjunction with a host of leading cartoonists.
Many people in the UK will not have realised that we used to keep whales and dolphins in tanks for entertainment in this country, and many will not realise that, despite the 30 year gap, it is still not illegal to do so in Britain.
So, together with the Professional Cartoonists Organisation, we have taken our campaign directly to parliament to engage with MPs and Peers face-to-face on this issue, and to call for a permanent UK ban on whale and dolphin captivity.
A number of leading cartoonists were set the challenge of creating funny and thought-provoking pieces of work related to whale and dolphin captivity, exposing the cruelty and stupidity behind the practice. A selection of the cartoons were placed on show at the special parliamentary event to start conversations with politicians who attended.
Imprisoned and forced to perform for food day after day, for an individual who is used to swimming many miles every day, a tank is a featureless prison cell. We want to ensure that no whales and dolphins are kept in tanks in the UK in the next 30 years and end captivity forever.
WDC anti captivity campaigner, Rob Lott said; ‘Captivity is a serious issue but by using humour we are seeking to start conversations about how we can outlaw the practice in the UK for good. Whales and dolphins are too intelligent, too emotionally complex, too social, too mobile, and too big to be confined in a tank. Captivity robs them of what it truly means to be a whale or a dolphin and has a serious impact on their physical and mental health.’