Canada to ban new captivity of whales and dolphins

Pablo Tucker
June 14, 2019

The legislation passed by the federal government bans the practice of putting whales and dolphins into captivity.

Canada's ban on captive whales and dolphins will not affect those already in captivity, meaning almost 60 animals will likely live out their natural lives at Marineland and the Vancouver Aquarium.

According to the CBC the bill impacts Marineland, the Niagara Falls amusement park and zoo that is considered the last Canadian park committed to keeping cetaceans in captivity.

The bill bans the capture of wild cetaceans but allows for the rehabilitation and rescue of aquatic mammals. There are some limited exceptions.


May first sponsored the bill in 2015. On June 10th, the "Ending the Captivity of Whales and Dolphins Act" under the Bill S-203, reportedly had its third and final reading, liberating the adorable and intelligent creatures from the bane of human captivity and torture. Breeding is also banned.

"This legislation heralds a change in how Canadians are thinking", Barbara Cartwright, CEO of animal welfare group Humane Canada, tells the Globe and Mail. "This is news to splash a fin at", animal rights group Humane Canada said on social media.

Inexperienced Celebration Chief Elizabeth Could possibly talked about Marineland is misinterpreting the regulations, which "very clearly" says that conserving cetaceans in captivity is animal cruelty.

It recently received approval to export two belugas, both owned by the Vancouver Aquarium, to a park in Spain.


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.

"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.

"If the bill didn't do something to end captive breeding, we could have ended up with a beluga farm in Marineland", said Barbara Cartwright.

Philip Demers, a former senior trainer at Marineland who blew the whistle on the theme park in 2012, called the bill a "big victory".


"Kiska" has outlived all of her children born at Marineland and is the sole orca left at the facility. "We're proud of our work, and our contribution to research, education, and conservation".

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