The provisional relief judge of the district court in Amsterdam rejected two requests made by the Orca Coalition [in Dutch: Orka Coalitie]: the coalition had requested a ban on the transport of orca Morgan to the Loro Parque aquarium in Spain and an order to work towards the release of Morgan back into nature. The transport-ban that had been in force until today was immediately lifted. Among other things, the provisional relief judge determined that the roadmap designed by the Free Morgan Export Board (a worldwide coalition of orca-experts) could not be addressed as it is not certain that Morgan can indeed be released into the ocean—even though this roadmap was designed to facilitate that very release. Moreover, the provisional relief judge determined that Morgan’s return to the wild from Loro Parque was ‘not illusory’. Loro Parque has no known plans to work towards any such release.
Dr. Ingrid Visser, member of and spokeswoman for the Free Morgan Expert Board responded as follows: This is a death sentence. The orca group in Loro Parque is unstable and aggressive, and Morgan runs a real risk of being attacked by the orca’s there, or worse.
This judgment is not open for appeal. However, the administrative decisions made by State Secretary Bleker, in which the transport of Morgan was approved, will be evaluated in the main proceedings before the court. The hearing for those proceedings is expected to take place next year. The lawyer for this case is Marq Wijngaarden.
Click here for the decision (in Dutch).