Washington, D.C. -- The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) applauds skincare company, Origins, for abandoning plans for a swim-with dolphins prize at Cabo Dolphins in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
Initially Origins had planned a promotional give-away of an opportunity to swim with the dolphins. AWI contacted the company regarding the cruelty inherent in the captive dolphin trade. Origins promptly responded by changing the prize, part of its "Leave it all Behind" sweepstakes, stating "…Origins would never intentionally participate in any activities that do not align with our Company's principles…we will no longer include this offer as part of the prize package."
Many aquarium dolphins have been captured from the wild and suffer shock, stress, injury and even death because of the brutal manner in which they are seized. The dolphins at Cabo Dolphins came from Japan, renowned for its controversial dolphin hunts including Taiji, where entire pods of dolphins are regularly herded into a shallow bay. Some are sold to aquariums, including swim-with programs, for as much as $150,000 each and the fishermen kill the remainder by slashing their throats and stabbing them with spears.
Captive dolphins' lives contrast starkly to those of their wild relatives. Highly intelligent animals with complex societies, wild dolphins travel up to 40 miles a day together and dive hundreds of feet in search of food but they are unable to do this in a small tank or sea pen. Aquarium dolphins are forced to perform tricks and interact with humans with no place to hide which can cause stress and stomach ulcers.
Since its launch in 1990, Origins has focused on providing animal and environmentally friendly plant-based cosmetic products. The company was the first major cosmetic brand to choose not to test their products on animals. "Origins has a long history of commitment to protect the planet and those who populate it," said AWI’s President Cathy Liss, "so their compassionate decision to dissociate themselves from dolphin swim-with programs is in keeping with their philosophy."
Serda Ozbenian, AWI, (202) 337-2332
The Animal Welfare Institute has been working to alleviate the suffering inflicted on animals by humans since 1951. Please join us in our work to protect animals – visit our website to find out more and to sign up for AWI eAlerts: www.awionline.org.