Despite repeated attempts to engage in “constructive dialogue”, the Farm refused to accept WSPA’s proposal to work together to address the long-term problems at the Cayman Turtle Farm.
The Farm said it would only consider a working relationship if WSPA renounced the findings of its year-long undercover investigation. Standing by WSPA’s evidence, Dr Neil D’Cruze, Campaign Leader stated:
“WSPA’s animal welfare concerns are based on robust evidence and a commonly held scientific opinion that commerical sea turtle farming is cruel and inhumane. We see no reason to deny what we have proven through photographic evidence”.
Independent assessment fails
WSPA had hoped that the Farm’s recently self-commissioned report would provide a basis for on-going discussion, but were disappointed to find it lacked detail and was not broad enough to be considered an authoritative piece of work.
Speaking about the report, Dr D’Cruze said: “We were expecting a detailed assessment based on hard science but instead we’ve got a brief summary with no data to prove that any of the observations are accurate or scientifically meaningful”.
WSPA had raised concerns about the impartiality of the Farm’s assessment back in December, after finding out members of the inspection team had a professional history with the Farm.
The 5-page inspection report, which was published in late January, found several areas of serious concern at the Farm, including emaciation, severe injury and a high death rate amongst the young. Despite these worrying findings, the report concluded that a few simple changes would guarantee the long-term health of the turtles.
Whilst WSPA’s offer to help the Farm transition to a rescue and release centre remains on the table, efforts will now focus on contacting election candidates in the Cayman Islands to find out if they plan to continue subsidizing the Farm.
Currently, the Cayman Government spends an average of $9.7 million each year to pay to keep the Farm afloat. According to local media reports, that works out to about $175 per year for each resident of the Cayman Islands.
We need your help
The Farms independent report raises more questions than answers. Contact the Farm on Facebook and Twitter and ask them what they plan to do to stop the turtles suffering.