Animal lovers demand TV blackout for cruel Indonesian dolphin circuses

08 March 2017

Animals Asia’s Indonesian partners met with the broadcasting commission to ensure the cruel exploitation of wildlife is not shown on air.

While much of the world recoils at the sight of dolphins forced to perform, Animals Asia partner organisation Scorpion Foundation has revealed Indonesian TV stations have consistently broadcast news stories praising such shows.

Three travelling circuses in Indonesia continue to feature around 70 performing dolphins forced to do tricks in tiny pools before being fished out and flown in crates to the next location.


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Indonesian TV stations Solopos TV, Cumicumi, Jambi TV and TVCIANJUR Channel have carried positive coverage of the dolphin performances while news show has also promoted animal circuses.

Other stations including CNN Indonesia, Trans TV, UMN TV, Trans 7 and RCTI have all carried positive news stories on Indonesian animal circus performance, promoted elephant rides or hosted programmes which exploit wild animals.

At the end of February, Scorpion Foundation’s Deputy Director, Marison Guciano, met with representatives of the Indonesian State Broadcasting Commission (KPI) at their headquarters in Jakarta.

He asked the commission not to allow any broadcasts which promote the exploitation of Indonesia’s wildlife while explaining the enormous welfare issues associated with animal performance.

In response the KPI has vowed to review past shows to see if any regulations have been broken and promised to take action on any violations.

Animals Asia’s Animal Welfare Director Dave Neale said:

“The animal cruelty inherent in these live dolphin performances is totally at odds with Indonesian values. What needs television exposure is the reality behind the shows, then people can know what they are paying for. At the moment, Indonesian TV are completely missing the real story and this lack of insight is allowing ignorance and animal cruelty to continue.”

Animals Asia is currently petitioning Indonesian airline, Sriwijawa Air to stop the transportation of live dolphins on their airlines which allows the cruel shows to continue. In just over two weeks, nearly 25,000 people have added their voice to the chorus calling for the airline to end their complicity in animal cruelty.