Philippine authorities allow dolphin export to Singapore

Alice Chia Channel NewsAsia 18 Nov 12;

SINGAPORE: The Philippines authorities have approved the export of 25 Indo-pacific bottlenose dolphins to Resorts World Sentosa's Marine Life Park.

Animal welfare groups in the Philippines had tried to block export of the dolphins in a court case, which they lost last month.

A Marine Life Park spokesperson said the park is pleased to receive the permit and looks forward to welcoming the dolphins to their new residence.

The park said it has followed all international and multi-national regulations and guidelines.

For over three years, the dolphins have been under the care and supervision of a team of veterinarians and marine mammal specialists.

- CNA/xq

Philippines 'okays export of RWS dolphins'
Permit said to be granted for them to come here, despite talk of appeal
Alastair McIndoe Straits Times 19 Nov 12;

MANILA - The Philippine authorities have reportedly issued an export permit for 25 bottlenose dolphins to be sent to Singapore's Marine Life Park at Resorts World Sentosa.

Animal welfare groups in the Philippines had tried to block the move in court, but lost their civil suit last month.

The Philippine Star newspaper yesterday, quoting Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources director Asis Perez, said the Department of Agriculture had issued the export permit on the bureau's recommendation. It was not clear when the permit was issued.

Officials were not available for comment on when the dolphins, which were caught in the Solomon Islands and brought here between 2008 and last year, will be exported to Singapore.

On Oct 17, a court in Quezon City denied a petition by animal welfare groups to renew a "temporary environmental protection order" blocking the dolphins' export to Singapore.

While there has been talk of an appeal, nothing appears to prevent the dolphins from being sent to Singapore now that a permit has been granted.

But Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres) maintained yesterday that not all legal avenues have been exhausted. Executive director Louis Ng said there would be a case at the courts today. He gave no other details but last month, Acres said it was planning to file an appeal to the courts.

The dolphins are being held in a special enclosure at Ocean Adventure, an open-water marine park at Subic Bay, where they were being acclimatised to a life in captivity while Marine Life Park was under construction.

The park is scheduled to open next month.

A spokesman for the park, responding to The Straits Times' queries, said it is looking forward to welcoming the dolphins to their new residence in Singapore.

"We have followed all international and multi-national regulations and guidelines, which is expressed by the favourable approval of our re-export," said the spokesman yesterday.

Additional reporting by Lim Yi Han in Singapore

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