The recent designation of Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat as meeting “the gold standard for animal welfare” by American Humane is without merit (Tuesday Review-Journal).
As noted by the Review-Journal, MGM made significant contributions to establish the new program, with David Blasko of the Habitat sitting on the advisory committee. The committee also consists of a panel of individuals heavily invested in the use of animals in entertainment, like animal trainers and Ringling Bros. employees.
How “humane” is it to hold dolphins captive in pools in the middle of the desert where they are subjected to constant sunlight and UV rays? The Animal Welfare Act, the federal law that regulates standards for animal care and treatment, specifically sets a mandate for adequate shade for marine mammals, yet the dolphins at The Mirage have virtually none.
How “humane” it is to hold large apex predators such as tigers captive in small cages, where they can never engage in any behavior that is natural or instinctual to them?
The latest designation bestowed on the Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat is an example of an industry that survives off the backs of animals congratulating itself for continuing to do so, while lying about any positive impact they have for the animal species they hold captive for profit.
Animal captivity by MGM including The Mirage is a shameful and cruel practice that is rapidly running out of steam in an age when people are waking up to the reality that animal captivity is not kind and it is not educational, it is animal cruelty.