leaders of the Russian Federation,

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated"...Mahatma Gandhi.

Please be so kind as to read my petition supported by many thousands of signatures, appealing to you to bring about an end to traveling Dolphinariums in Russia.

Many countries throughout the world have already banned such horrific and inhumane practices due to global pressure from international communities and we believe Russia should follow this compassionate example. It would be much more prudent to ask that the dolphins and whales be released back into the sea rather than be subjected to a life of nomadic incarceration for profit and greed.

Dolphins, Orcas and Whales all suffer enormous stress, cruelty and abuse in these unnatural circumstances and it's impossible on any level to provide adequate and healthy living conditions in a traveling circus. No captive facility of any kind can ever hope to replicate their native environments where cetaceans can swim freely with their families in the open oceans for up to one hundred miles each day, and the captive conditions they are held in are nowhere near adequate for them to live long, happy and healthy lives.

It is a well-established fact that capturing cetaceans of all species from their natural habitats in the wild for a life in captivity is extremely detrimental to both the captured animals as well as their remaining family members. They are highly intelligent, socially complex, sentient beings with a scientifically proven range of emotions far beyond that of any human. They live in tight family units for their entire lives; babies, juveniles, productive adults and elders, all together.

They hunt, feed, raise and teach their nursing young, care for their matriarch and converse in their own dialect. It is as deplorable to steal them from their ocean families and exploit them, as it would be to watch our own children being kidnapped and sold into a life of slavery.

Examples of Decline:

1. Dolphinariums across Europe are being scrutinized and are currently under extreme pressure from anti-captivity campaigners, exposing the dark truths behind captivity and it's only a matter of time before these facilities cease to exist.

2. SeaWorld in the United States is suffering dramatic stock decline and is presently being challenged for many of its practices in the US courts. They too will undoubtedly flounder as will all other marine parks that hold cetaceans against their will.

3. More recently, a ban on the importing of Beluga whales from within Russia has also been implemented indicating that the popularity and feasibility of visiting cetaceans in any facility, traveling or otherwise, is diminishing across the globe.

4. India has banned all dolphinariums and has joined many other countries in recognizing dolphins as “non-human persons” which will assure they receive the appropriate legal protection they so rightly deserve.

Global disapproval of captive cetacean facilities is growing at an incredible rate with some focus being placed on the Russian Federation where is little or no protective regulations for captured cetaceans and other marine mammals. There are fifteen "Traveling Dolphinariums" in the world and an astonishing twelve of them are here in Russia, where the practices of capturing, transporting and imprisoning cetaceans are unregulated and remains uncontrolled. Illegal poaching is not prosecuted and any attempts to confront it are easily bypassed due to corruption or weakness of protective laws and their enforcement.

The most recent evidence coming to light is the newly disclosed conditions of beluga whales in the traveling Dolphin Circus which recently came to the city of Perm. Two Beluga whales were kept for days in dark containers that they could barely fit into, in shallow water filled with their own urine and feces. Anybody would agree that this unimaginable treatment is both inhumane and barbaric and generally no longer considered an acceptable practice, exploiting and enslaving innocent beings and yet, despite citizens’ ongoing complaints to the law enforcement organizations, nothing has been done.

We respectfully ask you as esteemed, political Leaders of the Russian Federation, that you join us in taking a positive step to ban all traveling dolphinariums. This includes any imports and kidnappings of cetaceans from our world oceans to help facilitate these unacceptable businesses. It is extremely destructive, not only to those kidnapped, but to their families too where sometimes more cetaceans die during such hunts than are actually captured, thus threatening the collapse of local ecosystems and eventually causing local extinction to certain species.

The proposed law” Responsible Treatment of Animals" (Об Ответственном Обращении с Животными)” would be a perfect opportunity to include a ban within its context.

It is impossible to build a society of happy people, while cruelty and inhumanity is exercised to other living beings. We are appealing to your sense of humanity and justice. People, governments and countries all over the world will admire and respect you for even more for taking this opportunity to demonstrate to the world that Russia is a progressive and humane country, determined to become a world leader on such an important issue.

With sincerest gratitude.

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