The dolphinarium Connyland in Switzerland, represented by Erich Brandenberger, sued the German Whale and Protection Forum (WDSF) with CEO Jurgen Ortmuller, in the trial on October 17th at 8:30 in Kreuzlingen/Switzerland court.
The animal rights organization should be forbidden to accuse the Connyland owner as “animal torturer” because it would be an “inappropriate violation of personality rights,” they say.
In Connyland, eight dolphins died within the last three years, all together, over 30 of them since the beginning.
Connyland accuses Juergen Ortmueller, founder of the WDSF who is working in an honorary capacity, of publicizing inappropriate statements in a comment of the magazine “Blick.”
Ortmueller stated on July 2011: “We as animal rights group are surprised that there are many voices against us because we are interfering, as Germans, in Connyland affairs. This case is not about us but about the dolphins’ health worldwide which includes the Swiss dolphinarium, the only dolphinarium that seems like a circus to us. After six deaths the past three years, we feel obliged to stop this torture in the future.” In the meantime, two more dolphins died in Connyland.
Another organization (ProWal) published their own video on YouTube showing how trainers are riding with shoes on the dolphin’s mouth in front of a noisy crowd and speaking of torturing, too.
Connylands states that only by naming them as animal torturers in the video or article comment by WDSF, they implicate something that would not true. WDSF and ProWal claim in their comment on the trial that their statements count as freedom of expression.
President of court, Urs Haubensak, writes, referring to the trial: “It needs to be decided whether the average reader would count the behavior of Connyland as criminal or if the reader counts the statement as a general criticism.”
The Swiss government has forbidden now any importation of dolphins into Switzerland. This will be the end of the dolphinarium in Connyland. They will close in 2013, as they published.
Juergen Ortmueller (WDSF) says “Closing Connyland dolphinarium is the result of our protests since 2011. That’s very well, because no new dolphins of the wild will be imported to Switzerland. These beautiful animals will be free in all future. That was our aim.”