Published: Fri, June 14, 2019
Research | By Raquel Erickson

Canada Just Banned Whale and Dolphin Captivity

Canada Just Banned Whale and Dolphin Captivity

Animal welfare advocates are celebrating after the Dwelling of Commons voted Monday to ban conserving whales, dolphins and porpoises in captivity - in a transfer with long-time duration consequences for Canadian marine parks.

The man who blew the whistle on alleged animal abuses at Marineland hopes the federal government's new legislation aimed at banning whales in captivity is a "precedent-setting" move that spreads globally. However, it allows parks now holding animals in captivity to keep those already owned.

That came after Vancouver's board of parks and recreation passed a bylaw amendment in 2017 banning cetaceans being brought to or kept in city parks after two beluga whales held at the aquarium died.

CNN reports that the bill provides exceptions if the animal is a rescue, in rehabilitation, needs assistance, or is licensed for scientific research.

Known as the "Free Willy" bill, S-203, it was first proposed in 2015 and now it is awaiting symbolic royal approval.

"Whales and dolphins are incredible, majestic creatures who belong swimming free in the ocean-not confined to tiny, miserable concrete tanks", Camille Labchuk, Executive Director of Canadian organization Animal Justice told VegNewsin celebration of the bill. Breeding of whales is also prohibited.


"Nothing fantastic ever happens in a hurry", animal rights group Humane Canda, said in a Tweet. This is news to splash a fin at, ' animal rights group Humane Canada wrote on Twitter.

The Vancouver Aquarium has good one dolphin left, advocacy teams order, nevertheless in January launched it would no longer retain whales and dolphins in captivity. The bill also changes the Criminal Code, creating new animal cruelty offences related to the captivity of cetaceans.

Marineland in Niagara Falls, Ont., on the other hand, recently told the Canadian government it now has 50 belugas at its facility and several are pregnant.

Despite the grandfathering, Phil Demers, a prone Marineland trainer-modified into activist, called it a "historical day for Canada".

"It didn't take very long before I was deemed a problem employee because of the fact that I was taking the position that the animals needed more", he said.

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