MANILA, Philippines – The Quezon City Regional Trial Court stopped the re-exportation of 25 dolphins to Singapore.
At the same time, the court, through Executive Judge Bernelito Fernandez, also prohibited the importation of additional dolphins into the country.
The order is contained in a temporary protection order issued by Fernandez in a two page-order dated October 12.
“After a thorough review of the allegations in support of the prayer for the issuance of a TEPO, this office finds that there exists extreme urgency and that the subject 25 captive dolphins and the petitioners will suffer grave injustice and irreparable injury should the re-exporting of the said captive dolphins and the importing of additional dolphins into the country be undertaken at this time…This office hereby rules to grant the prayer for a 72-hour TEPO effective upon receipt of this order by the respondents,” the court said.
The dolphins are currently at the Ocean Adventure Park in Subic.
The case stemmed from a petition filed by the Earth Island Institute (EII)-Philippines, Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), CARA Welfare Philippines and several others against the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) to stop the re-exportation of 25 Solomon Island dolphins to Singapore.
Petitioners said the re-export of dolphins was in violation of the Wildlife Act (RA 9147) and the commitments of the country under the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Treaty. The treaty aims to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.
The petition was filed against Agriculture Secretary Proseso Alcala, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Director Asig Perez, Resorts World at Sentosa PTE LTD. (RWS).
Since 2008, a total of 25 dolphins have been imported by Resorts World Singapore (RWS) to the Philippines from the Solomon Islands despite scientific reports from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) showing that the harvest of wild dolphins from the Solomon Islands may not be sustainable and could further endanger the local population of dolphins in the island nation.