BREAKING: Russia to Ban Traveling Dolphin Shows and Contact Zoos

April 13, 2017: As reported by Russian news,, Deputies of the State Duma in the Russian Federation intend to add a ban on traveling dolphin shows and contact zoos to the proposed bill, “On Responsible Treatment of Animals.”

The Deputy Chairman of the Duma Committee on Ecology and Environmental Protection, Vladimir Panov, who is overseeing the finalization of the bill, explained to Russian news agency TASS that animals in contact zoos are in constant stress as they cannot avoid interaction with visitors. In addition, inadequate conditions in captivity such as bright artificial lighting, high noise levels, limited space and lack of exercise can contribute to the premature death of the animals. Panov explained that it is impossible to provide the necessary conditions for marine mammals in traveling dolphinariums because they are continually on the move.

The bill was initially submitted to the State Duma in 2010. In March 2011, deputies adopted it in the first reading. In the fall of 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin recalled the need for further development and adoption of this bill.

Abused animals perform in Indonesia’s traveling circuses

Abused animals perform in Indonesia’s traveling circuses.

Traveling circuses are also popular in Indonesia, where three separate companies operate under appalling conditions. The animals are frequently hauled out of their plastic performing pools and loaded into the back of trucks, along with other animals, as the circuses move from town to town. Dolphin Project’s team on the ground are lobbying the government and have met with the Ministry of Education to no longer allow traveling dolphin circuses to solicit visits from schoolchildren during school hours. Dolphin Project has also launched a major campaign in Indonesia to close these exploitative operations including a graffiti & mural art initiative, electronic billboards throughout Indonesia, digital ads at the Bali airport and a traveling educational puppet show.

Dolphin Project applauds Russia in their efforts to ban traveling dolphin shows. However, there is still much work to be done as Russia remains one of the biggest buyers of Taiji’s wild-caught dolphins, and continues to permit the capture of wild orcas for captive display.

Thank you to Dolphin Project Cove Monitor and Founder, Oxana Fedorova for providing information and translation contained in this blog.

Featured image: courtesy


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About Cara Sands

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It might be true that we don't recall many moments from our early years. However, Cara's first memory of a dolphin had her begging her parents to ask the trainer to let the dolphin go! The problem with captivity was evident to her, even as a 4 year-old child.

A writer by trade, Cara has researched, investigated and documented dolphins suffering in captivity. From documenting dolphins incarcerated in buildings, cut-off from fresh air, sunlight and normal socialization to researching cases of animals imprisoned in solitary confinement, Cara is a dedicated dolphin welfare advocate.

It is her belief that education equals empowerment. The more information shared, the better our choices and knowledge of how to act as a positive and respectful voice for dolphins across the world.

Cara is based out of Canada and makes time whenever possible to observe dolphins in their natural environments. She is writing her first fiction novel but knowing her, the marine world will play a prominent role in her book!

"The use of animals for entertainment is nothing more than an abuse of dominance. Some of the most sentient species on the planet have been exploited to incomprehensible levels, all due to their inherent benevolence. Ironic, considering that we turn to the abused themselves for displays of humanity."
~ Cara Sands

Author: Cara Sands


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