Short film released about turtle farm controversy
(CNS): A short film has been released by the UK based environmental affairs magazine The Ecologist highlighting the controversies surrounding the Cayman Islands Turtle Farm. The short feature comes in the wake of an independent review of the farm commissioned by the farm’s management following the publication of findings by the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) that indicated things at the facility were less than ideal. The review has not yet been published. Animal rights and conservation activists have launched an international campaign to persuade the local authorities to turn the Farm into a real conservation facility and put an end to the farming of sea turtles.
Alongside the film and the campaign by the WSPA, whose own damning report alleged overcrowding, disease, injury, poor husbandry conditions and a catalogue of other problems, some UK MPs have also filed a motion in the British parliament with the backing of some 65 members from across the political spectrum, calling for action on the WSPA findings.
The film published on Thursday by The Ecologist, which was founded in the 1970s and is the oldest conservation and environment related publications in the UK, examines the WSPA findings and talks to the local department of environment and the farm’s director.
The Cayman Turtle Farm, which costs local tax payers some $10 million in subsidies every year, is the last of its kind in the world and is now undergoing international pressure to change its model. Undercover footage shot by the WSPA, which is featured in the film shows some of the issues at the heart of the campaign. As well as the welfare concerns the film highlights the risks to human health, financial costs and the alleged failures in its conservation mandate.
Since the WSPA first turned its attention on the Farm, officials there have persistently denied the allegations of cruelty. The farm has defended the conditions, its history and its research and conservation programme, stating the farm is a facility the Cayman Islands 'can be proud of'. It has also accused activists of attempting to undermine the farms revenue base whilst at the same time stating they want to work with the farm.
A review was carried out at the Farm in December and officials said that results of that review were expected this month but it is not clear when it will be released to the public.
The film includes comments from the farm’s MD Tim Adam, Gina Ebanks-Petrie, the environment department’s director as well as local marine personality Guy Harvey and local restaurant owner Isley Ebanks among others.
See related stories on CNS: Cayman-turtle-farm-undergoes-review
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