This post courtesy of the Niagara, Ontario-based activist group Marineland Animal Defense, also known as M.A.D.
NIAGARA FALLS, ONTARIO – The Ministry of the Environment has now issued the captive animal facility Marineland Canada in Niagara Falls, ON, permits to continue burials on site at the facility.
The announcement comes almost one year since the Ministry of the Environment was alerted that the park had been burying animals on site without permits. An investigation ensued and Marineland Canada was ordered to stop burials, until a full investigation and report of the environmental impacts could be made.
The burials will now continue with a legal permit and a 35 point conditional list that Marineland must meet.
In response to the new permits Marineland Canada claimed that their on site burials allows captive animals to “return to the natural ecosystem of the park.” It is absurd to claim that wild caught dolphins, Orcas and belugas – from Iceland, Russia and beyond – are part of a local ecosytem, or that any part of this process is in any way “natural.” The lid was blown off of the burial sites last year as ex park supervisor Jim Hammond described the burial sites to the Toronto Star. Mr. Hammond’s testimony claims there are four burial pits, the two largest containing “over 1,000 animals.” That stock would include deers, dolphins, belugas, orcas, sea lions, walruses, bears and more – including the 12 Orcas who have died at Marineland Canada since 1994.
Ex-employee Jim Hammond has since been sued by the park for $1.5 Million dollars. The Toronto Star, which ran an investigative series, has also been sued. In total, 3 ex employees, 2 advocates and the main news sources covering this issue have been sued.
Marineland Canada is currently down to it’s last remaining Orca – Kiska, a wild caught Orca who is the lone survivor of the parks failed captive Orca program. Activists from all over hold onto the hope that Kiska can be removed from this park before meeting the fate of all her previous tank mates – the Marineland mass graves.
We also urge advocates to contact the Federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Gail Shea to push for a ban on the import of wild caught marine mammals – a move that would stop the flow of wild caught animals into captive animal parks like Marineland.
100 School Street
Tignish, PE C0B 2B0
250 Water Street
Summerside, PE C1N 1B3
Room 556, Confederation Building
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
Toll Free: 1-800-224-0018
I am extremely concerned about the conditions at the captive animal facility Marineland in Niagara Falls, Ontario. As you may know, the current controversy is the result of a complete legislative void in regards to captive marine mammals in Canada.
Although it is illegal to wild capture a marine mammal for display in Canada, it is still legal to import and export animals wild caught in other countries (namely Russia and Japan). This does not protect marine mammals at all. In 2001 Libby Davies (MP) introduced a private members motion urging for a closure of the wild capture loophole. That advice has never been followed through on and over that span of time many more animals have been captured, confined and died for the sole purpose of individual profit.
The concern and outrage surrounding this issue is national and it deserves a response. Only by restructuring the laws will we see change that should have come decades ago. I sincerely hope that you will consider reintroducing the guidelines of that proposed motion and support measures to transition, and end, the captive marine mammal industry.
Please keep me updated about this issue.
For more information on Marineland Animal Defense and its efforts to advocate for the welfare of animals visit the group’s website at http://marinelandanimaldefense.com/ .
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