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Animal Welfare Activists Call For Complete Ban Of Dolphin Importation

By February 16, 2017 at 6:16 am
Dolphin (Photo : Getty Images)

With the recent death of a dolphin at an Ulsan aquarium, animal rights activists are now calling for a complete ban on imports of aquatic mammals to Korea. The dolphin's death happened on Tuesday when a district government in Ulsan announced the news. The dolphin was among the five held in captivity in an aquarium in Jangsaengpo Special Whale Culture Zone which was imported from Japan five days ago.

Bottlenose dolphins are among the list included in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Unfortunetly, international trade of the dolphins is allowed internationally. For Korea, import is legal with the permission from the Ministry of Environment.

The cause of death for the dolphin remains unclear according to the local government. The autopsy reports the presence of hematothorax and hemorrhaging in the dolphin's lungs. The local government is still waiting for the final results.

Hotpinkdolphines, a domestic NGO is accusing the local for improper treatment and mishandling of the dolphin during transfer. The NGO claims that the dolphin died of stress. The also found out that the dolphin was caged in a small aquatic cage during the 1000 km trip and has experienced a great deal of stress on the way.

After arriving in Busan, the dolphin was transported to the aquarium with instructions from the government on proper cage and animal handling during the travel. But the NGO stresses that instructions such as these are often ignored.

The NGO is now demanding the local government to dismiss the people responsible for the import as well as release the four remaining dolphins in captivity. In addition, the activists are insisting the central government to enact a law to completely ban the importation of dolphins.

As a response the environment ministry said that they will consider banning as a future policy. However they must fist consult with the fishing ministry with regards to the issue.

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