By Howard Lee
That was the message from the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society to Resorts World Sentosa, as it filed an official request to the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority on Friday, to investigate animal cruelty towards the dolphins kept at RWS’s Marine Life Park.
ACRES cited scientific research that says loud sounds cause bodily stress and damage to cetaceans. It charged that RWS’s firework displays in December last year, released near the dolphins’ pools, might have compromised their welfare, as the close proximity and loud noises could have disorientated and distressed them.
“ACRES is concerned that the dolphins may be terrified by or suffer as a result of firework displays. We once again appeal to RWS to cease any firework displays near the dolphin enclosures,” said Mr Louis Ng, Chief Executive of ACRES.
According to AVA’s Animals and Birds (Pet Shop and Exhibition) Rules 2004, under which a licence was issued to RWS for keeping the dolphins, “the licensee should keep the animals in an environment that is conducive to their well-being, to allow them to display their natural range of activities and behaviours.”
ACRES also cited specific parts of the Animals and Birds Act, that forewarns against actions which “infuriates or terrifies any animal” under the licensee’s charge.
RWS has continued to claim good husbandry for the dolphins, despite three of the original 27 wild-caught animals having died under its care. The third dolphin died on his flight to Singapore from the Philippines, despite RWS having earlier verified him fit to travel.
TOC queried AVA regarding their response to this request by ACRES. An AVA spokesperson acknowledged receiving the investigation request, adding that, “AVA has visited RWS during a fireworks display in January and found that the dolphins were not affected by the fireworks. We will continue to monitor the well-being of the dolphins at RWS.”
[Image credit: ACRES]