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We need whale poo 📷 WDC NA

Whales are our climate allies – meet the scientists busy proving it

At Whale and Dolphin Conservation, we're working hard to bring whales and the ocean into...
Minke whale © Ursula Tscherter - ORES

The whale trappers are back with their cruel experiment

Anyone walking past my window might have heard my groan of disbelief at the news...
Boto © Fernando Trujillo

Meet the legendary pink river dolphins

Botos don't look or live like other dolphins. Flamingo-pink all over with super-skinny snouts and...
Risso's dolphin entangled in fishing line and plastic bags - Andrew Sutton

The ocean is awash with plastic – can we ever clean it up?

You've seen pictures of plastic litter accumulating on beaches or marine wildlife swimming through floating...
Fin whale

Is this the beginning of the end for whaling off Iceland?

I'm feeling cautiously optimistic after Iceland's Fisheries Minister Svandís Svavarsdóttir wrote that there is little...
Mykines Lighthouse, Faroe Islands

Understanding whale and dolphin hunts in the Faroe Islands – why change is not easy

Most people in my home country of the Faroe Islands would like to see an...

Dolphin scientists look like you and me – citizen science in action

Our amazing volunteers have looked out for dolphins from the shores of Scotland more than...
Atlantic white-sided dolphins

The Faroes dolphin slaughter that sparked an outcry now brings hope

Since the slaughter of at least 1,423 Atlantic white-sided dolphins at Skálafjørður in my home...

British Airways responds as petition reaches 100,000

A change.org petition set up by WDC supporter, Kathleen Haase, calling on British Airways to stop selling trips to SeaWorld now has over 100,000 signatures and has prompted the following response from British Airways:

In common with many airlines and travel companies in the UK, we offer services intended to make the booking of holiday experiences more convenient for members of the public who wish to visit SeaWorld attractions.

We offer similar arrangements in regard to theme parks and other places of interest at many destinations on our global network. Whether members of the public choose to make use of these arrangements is entirely up to them.

We note the concerns you have raised in relations to animal welfare. We feel sure you will be aware that regulation of animal welfare at SeaWorld is a matter for the relevant federal and state authorities in the US.

We have no reason not to have confidence in the expertise of these authorities in what is a highly specialised field far removed from the world of aviation.

Unfortunately, by booking through a trusted company like BA and without the necessary information to make an informed decision, many holidaymakers will continue to patronise SeaWorld and other facilities holding whales and dolphins in captivity.

Increasing numbers of holidaymakers are informed about the issues, though. A recent UK survey found 86% of tourists would not wish to visit facilities holding captive whales and dolphins as part of their holiday. US opinion is also turning against orca captivity.

Furthermore, US animal welfare legislation for marine mammals in captivity is woefully out of date and provides very little protection for captive whales and dolphins held in SeaWorld and other facilities. It also falls way behind standards in other countries such as Brazil (where there are no captive whales and dolphins) and Italy. WDC welcomes the recent passing of an amendment in the US Congress which will finally force the US authorities to update this legislation.

Unfortunately for BA, in this age of corporate responsibility, which has resulted in ABTA guidance on animal tourism and Virgin examining its relationship with facilities holding captive whales and dolphins, it can no longer hide behind its expertise in aviation.

If you haven’t already, please consider signing Kathleen’s petition and posting a polite message of concern on BA’s Facebook page. Thousands of others have!