Sudden announcement of Morgan’s Verdict

The Dutch High Court has suddenly announced that Morgan’s verdict will now be announced on the 23 April.2014-MORGAN VERDICT- verdict due_resize

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Morgan-JudgeVERDICT DATE ANNOUNCED as 14 May 2014

 

Finally, we have received confirmation that Morgan’s verdict date has been delayed until the 14th of May 2014.  We continue to gather evidence against Loro Parque and the way they are not addressing the welfare issues we have repeatedly raised.  Please expose Morgan’s plight in your local media – the more stories out there about this travesty the more chances people have to learn about what has happened and to voice their own opinions.

 

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FMF supports BLOOM AB2140The Free Morgan Foundation is pleased to offer its support to the proposed California Bill (AB2140 ‘Bloom’s Orca Safety and Welfare Bill’).  Here is our official letter of support for the Bill discussing the direct implications to Morgan’s situation.  We applaud California as they join foreign nations leading the world in this noble endeavour to end captivity for orca.

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Morgan’s verdict postponed, yet again

3D_Judges_GavelThe Free Morgan Foundation is more than disappointed that once again the High Court in Den Haag, The Netherlands, has postponed Morgan’s verdict.  We understand your frustration as we await confirmation of the new verdict date.  We are in consultation with lawyers internationally as to what our next steps will be.  On behalf of Morgan, thank you so much for your continued support through this process.

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VERDICT POSTPONED until 19 Feb 2014

VERDICT 19 Feb 2014The High Court in Den Haag has informed the Free Morgan Foundation that the verdict for Morgan could now take up to a further six weeks to be released. (The verdict was originally scheduled for release on the 15th of Jan 2014).  Although disappointed, because every day of potential freedom for Morgan is precious, we are confident that the law supports the release of Morgan and look forward to The High Court’s verdict scheduled for Wednesday 19 Feb 2014.  However, each Monday, you can check whether The High Court will release the verdict (on the Wednesday of that week) at http://www.raadvanstate.nl/uitspraken/actuele-uitspraken/hoofdzaken.html

The Free Morgan Foundation thanks you for all your continued support!

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ABUSE CONTINUES AT LORO PARQUE


20131117-Morgan's teeth & jaws -crop
 
 Photographs taken by Dr Visser on the 17th of November 2013, clearly show that Morgan has continued to suffer whilst being ‘cared’ for at Loro Parque. Her front teeth are worn down to the gums, others have had more than a third worn off and yet at least one other is broken. Not shown in the photo is a tooth on her right jaw which is nearly worn to the pulp and which may very well have to be drilled out. If not, she may get a tooth infection, which could cause sepsis and death. The photo here also clearly shows the extreme damage she has inflicted on herself from continually banging against the tank walls. This is termed ‘hypertrophic tissue damage’ and is often itchy as well as sore. Furthermore, Morgan has banged her head against the tank so often that she has worn away the skin and exposed raw flesh. Yet, Loro Parque and the owner claim that Morgan is ‘doing fine and is in good health’. They also claim that Dr Visser manipulates data. You decide what you want to believe.

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3 Dec 2013 – MORGAN’s NEXT COURT HEARING (APPEAL)

gavelMorgan’s next hearing will be at the High Court in Den Haag (The Hague), Netherlands on the Tuesday 3rd of December 2013 at 10:45 am.

LOCATION:  Council of State (Raad van State) of the Netherlands, Chamber Unit A3, Kneuterdijk 22, 2514 EN Den Haag, Netherlands (note this is NOT the same court as last year).

We will be posting an “event” on Morgan’s Facebook page for those of you who wish to join us at the Courthouse.

The current schedule is for the lawyers from both sides to have 5 minutes to present their case, then the Judges can ask them (and the expert witnesses) questions.  We are unsure how long this may continue for, but anticipate that it may be a few hours of questions, if the previous hearings have been anything to go by.

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BiLLe Celeb Charity

Lee Harrison's endearing cartoon of Lolita & Morgan with their respective BiLLe Celebrity Charity Challenge cheques

Lee Harrison’s endearing cartoon of Lolita & Morgan with their respective BiLLe Celebrity Charity Challenge cheques

First Morgan and now Lolita have won the BiLLe Celebrity Charity Challenge.  Voted by the public, as charities worth supporting, the Free Morgan Foundation and the Orca Network have now each won €25,000.  In an unprecedented back-to-back coup, both organisations are celebrated here with an endearing cartoon drawn by FMF supporter Lee Harrison.  The FMF and the Orca Network both work towards removing individual orca from the demeaning ‘wet circus’ lives they currently lead.

Both orca were captured from the wild, but Lolita, originally known as Tokitae has been in captivity for more than 40 years.  However, researchers still know her family and the Orca Network has selected a cove which is ideal for her rehabilitation and possible release back to her family.  There are more details about her retirement and rehabilitation on their page about Lolita/Tokitae.

Our heart-felt thanks go out to everyone who voted for Sam Simon and now for Robin Williams – you have made a difference and we will continue to fight to help these and other orca who need our help.

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In April 2013, Sam Simon was nominated for the BiLLe Celebrity Charity Challenge and the Free Morgan Foundation was his linked Charity.

Sam Simon voted #1 on BiLLe Celebrity Challenge - wins €25,000 for Morgan

Sam Simon voted #1 on BiLLe Celebrity Challenge – wins €25,000 for Morgan

The public voted for Sam (and the FMF) and we won with a (26470 votes, with Sam Simon 2288 votes ahead).

All this support resulted in a €25,000 donation from the BiLLe Group, which will go towards helping Morgan.  A huge thanks to the BiLLe Group for making this funding available and to Veronica W. for nominating Sam and Morgan (and of course, thanks to Sam and all the supporters who voted every day to help Morgan!).BiLLe Celeb Charity

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Law Experts Publish on Morgan’s Legal Status

Three law experts; Arie Trouwborst, Richard Caddell and Ed Couzens, have recently had their peer-reviewed article published titled: To Free or Not to Free? State Obligations and the Rescue and Release of Marine Mammals: A Case Study of Morgan the Orca.

The Cambridge Journal Transnational Environmental Law , which has published the article, has kindly provided it free of charge to interested parties.  Documents such as these are normally sold to each individual who wishes to download it, so we are grateful to the Editors for helping Morgan in this way and allowing the greater public to be informed.

State Obligations and the Rescue and Release of Marine Mammals: A Case Study of ‘Morgan the Orca’

You can download the paper directly from their website.

The Abstract (summary) is reproduced here.  Of particular note is the final sentence, part of which we have bolded. Note that the emphasis is ours.

Wild animals periodically encounter difficulties or suffer injuries that require human intervention and assistance. The natural assumption is that a surviving animal will, where viable, be released back to the wild. But is there a formal legal obligation for a rescuer to do so? This question arose recently in the context of Morgan, a female killer whale rescued in poor health in Dutch waters. Morgan was successfully restored to full health, but the Dutch authorities subsequently declined to repatriate her to the wild and, controversially, transferred her to a zoological facility in Spain. This article examines the largely unexplored legal obligations incumbent upon the Netherlands in respect of rehabilitated cetaceans, in the process exposing certain problems of clarity and consistency within the present regulatory framework. By necessary implication, this article identifies emerging issues of interpretation posed by the Morgan saga, illustrating the tensions between animal welfare and nature conservation especially in the transboundary context and concluding firmly that the Dutch authorities erred legally in making their final decision.

We would like to also extend our thanks to the authors for providing insight into Morgan’s case. Their findings may well take the Free Morgan Foundation one step closer to achieving the goal of giving Morgan her chance at rehabilitation and release.

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