Dublin Actor Emmett Scanlan Calls On Holidaymakers to Stay Away From ‘Swim With Dolphins’ Programmes

For Immediate Release:

29 July 2016


Jennifer White +44 (0) 20 7837 6327, ext 222; [email protected]


‘Dolphins Are Intelligent, Social and Emotional Beings – They Are Not Toys’, Says Hollyoaks Star

Dublin – In a moving comment piece written on behalf of PETA, Hollyoaks and The Fall star Emmett Scanlan urges Irish holidaymakers to stay away from facilities which hold dolphins captive. In his piece, which was published by The Huffington Post, the actor describes how he once participated in a photo op with a dolphin before understanding that animals used for such “dolphin encounters” or “swim with dolphins” programmes are often torn from their ocean homes and confined to barren, chlorinated tanks or tiny ocean pens, where they can do nothing but swim in endless circles.

“Dolphins are intelligent, social and emotional beings – they are not toys, and we can no longer in good conscience keep them enslaved for our amusement. Attractions that do so stay in business only because curious tourists pay money for tickets. So when you’re planning your next holiday, give animals a holiday of their own by crossing visits to any facilities that keep marine mammals or other animals captive off your to-do list”, writes Scanlan. He goes on to remind the public that anyone who wishes to see these magnificent animals “can observe them in their natural habitat, right off the Irish coast”.

In the wild, dolphins live in large social groups, swim together in family pods, and travel up to 100 miles a day. In captivity, their ocean worlds are reduced to small, barren tanks or pens. The stress of confinement takes its toll on these highly intelligent and self-aware animals, who often develop painful conditions, such as stomach ulcers, and die prematurely. In addition, many of the parks that host “swim with” events use animals who were taken from the wild through immensely cruel methods, such as the baby dolphins who are kidnapped from their families during the annual Japanese dolphin hunt.

The full text of Scanlan’s comment piece can be found here. For more information please visit PETA.org.uk.