Robert: Whale and dolphin captivity to be banned in Canada
Canada is taking steps towards addressing one of the biggest controversies in the animal kingdom. Earlier this week, a new federal bill was passed that will phase out the practice of holding whales, dolphins and porpoises in captivity.
“Today’s a really good day for animals in Canada,” says Green Party Leader Elizabeth May. “Many scientists testified to why it was critical that we stop keeping cetaceans in captivity. We understand why because they are obviously not akin to other animals, for instance, livestock. Cetaceans (whales, dolphins, porpoises) require the ocean, they require the space, they require acoustic communication over long distances.”
The legislation bans the capture of wild whales, dolphins and porpoises, but does allow for the rehabilitation and rescue. The bill will also change the Criminal Code, creating new animal cruelty offences related to cetaceans in captivity. Breeding of these animals is also banned.
Canada’s two facilities that currently have these types of animals in captivity, Marineland in Niagara Falls and the Vancouver Aquarium, will be permitted to keep their existing cetaceans, but have assured government officials they will comply with all animal welfare legislation and have already taken steps to a future without whales, dolphins and porpoises.