By Gordon Lee (Photos: Gordon Lee)
LONDON, 21 September 2013 – A global boycott of Genting Casinos was launched in London yesterday at 4 pm (11 pm Singapore time).
This boycott was organised by Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES), a Singapore-based animal protection charity, together with UK-based organisations, The Captive Animals’ Protection Society (CAPS), Marine Connection, and the Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC). As part of the launch, a six hour-long public awareness event was held outside Genting Casino (Chinatown) in London with a team of six animal rights activists handing out leaflets and engaging members of the public.
Genting Singapore, a company of the Genting Group, is the sole shareholder of Resorts World Sentosa which has been responsible for buying and importing 27 wild-caught Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins from the Solomon Islands between 2008 and 2009 for the resort’s Marine Life Park. Three dolphins have already died, and the charities hope to secure the rehabilitation and release of the remaining dolphins back into the wild.
Louis Ng, Chief Executive and Founder of ACRES, explained that the event was held in London because Genting Casinos is one of the United Kingdom’s’s largest casino operators with 38 casinos, and also because it was impossible to organise the event in Singapore. He said, “Responsibility for the plight of the dolphins rests with Genting. The dolphins have endured being removed from their natural habitat in the Solomon Islands and stressful transportations between countries. They’ve been subjected to training sessions in small enclosures in other countries. They are now being housed in small, barren pools: a far cry from the ocean habitat to which they are adapted. We hope that the public will support this boycott, to pressure Genting to make the right decision.”
Margaux Dodds, Director of Marine Connection, adds, “We urge Genting to reconsider their decision not to allow these remaining 24 dolphins the opportunity of rehabilitation and eventual release back to the wild. Public opposition to them housing wild-caught, captive dolphins at Resorts World is already great; we urge others to support this boycott to show the depth of feeling both nationally and internationally over this issue. These dolphins have been removed from an already depleted population, and acceptance of imported dolphins from this source reflects very badly on the ethical practices of Genting as a company, and they would immediately raise their profile by showing compassion and allowing these dolphins the opportunity of release. By supporting this campaign, the public could help these dolphins to once again swim free in Solomon Islands waters and discourage any future captures for the captivity trade,” she said.
The “Save the World’s Saddest Dolphins” campaign, a Singapore – based campaign to free the Resorts World dolphins, was launched by ACRES in May 2010. The official campaign website is www.saddestdolphins.com