A boycott of Merlin Entertainment brands has been called for by the Captive Animals Protection Society (CAPS) over Merlin’s running of Sea Life aquaria, which dominate this sector in the UK (Ethical Consumer).

As well as Sea Life centres the called-for boycott by those who care about animal welfare also includes Merlin’s UK theme parks Alton Towers, which recently admitted responsibility for a serious accident on its Smiler extreme roller-coaster, Thorpe Park, Chessington World of Adventures and Legoland, as well as attractions such as Warwick Castle, Madame Tussauds, The Dungeons, Blackpool Tower and the London Eye, along with other big wheels in other parts of the UK. In addition Merlin brands in Germany, Italy and Australia are included.

What has particularly upset CAPS, as well as conditions their undercover investigator found at UK Sea Life centres, is Merlin’s empty and misleading PR in respect of its attitude to captive animals, which has led to the CAPS campaign being termed “SEA LIES” Merlin state in their UK Sea Life centres and online: “Sea Life believes it is wrong to keep whales and dolphins in captivity. No matter how spacious, no captive facility can provide such far-ranging, highly social and highly intelligent animals with the stimulation they need for a good quality of life”.

Impressive words from a clearly caring and responsible company, until you find out, as CAPS have, that Merlin have purchased businesses with captive whales, dolphins and porpoises and that one of them in Shanghai currently features three beluga whales performing tricks three times a day for the entertainment of visitors, and the pockets of Merlin.

That’s the magic of PR for you…

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