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Switzerland bans import of dolphins
Ville Felvin (File)

Switzerland bans import of dolphins

Published: 30 May 2012 11:08 GMT+02:00
Updated: 30 May 2012 09:50 GMT+02:00

The National Council decided finally on Tuesday to ban the importation of dolphins or whales to Switzerland.

“This is a great victory,” Isabelle Chevalley, Councillor for the Green Liberals who led the campaign for the ban, told newspaper Tribune de Genève.

Currently Connyland is the only animal park in Switzerland where cetaceans are kept. Activists have been campaigning for twenty years to shut down the dolphin show there.

Chevalley managed to convince some of her right-leaning colleagues also, enabling her to bag her first parliamentary success.

Three lone dolphins remain, after the controversial deaths of two dolphins last year. The Council of States, the lower house, voted to allow the remaining dolphins to live out their days in their current home, and on Tuesday the National Council reached the same conclusion.

But the lawyers working towards the imposition of the ban have said that the goal will be to have the dolphins removed altogether.

“Today, no-one would go to see tigers locked in a concrete cage,” Chevalley told the paper.

Not all politicians agree with the dolphin ban, believing it will pave the way for the introduction of bans on other animals.

“Recently, 300 dolphins died in the Gulf of Mexico in total indifference, versus only two in recent years in Switzerland,” Oskar Freysinger for the Swiss People’s Party told the newspaper.

Lyssandra Sears (news@thelocal.ch)

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