An Italian dolphinarium in Remini has been closed for good thanks to non-stop campaigns by animal welfare organizations, mainly the Born Free Foundation and the Anti-Vivisection League (LAV.)

An investigation by environmental officers conducted in 2013 revealed that the dolphinarium was in violation of several laws in the Penal Code and the National Zoo Law and the dolphinarium was fined, temporary closed, and four dolphins were transferred to another dolphinarium in Genoa.

Some of the violations included the use of tranquillisers and hormonal therapies to reduce aggression and sexual behaviours, an inadequate water cooling and cleaning system and lack of facilities and programs to treat sick animals.

LAV said the closure of the Rimini dolphinarium by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture is the “first dolphinarium closed by a ministerial decree in Italy.”

“This is the final stop to any attempt by the facility to continue to operate outside the law,” said LAV. “Even though they had never obtained the necessary license from the zoo, the Rimini dolphinarium remained open to the public for almost a decade, until the seizure of the animals and their transfer.”

Daniel Turner, spokesperson for Born Free said back in August 2013, “Rimini dolphinarium, as with the majority of the five dolphinaria in Italy are not compliant with their legal requirements. Three are not properly licensed; all, but Genova Aquarium, require their dolphins to perform tricks to music; whilst none of them seemingly contribute to public education or species conservation.” Turner concluded, “All the facilities should be phased out and the 26 dolphins relocated to an appropriate rehabilitation facility.”

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