Ontario Finally Passes New Legislation To End Acquisition and Breeding of Killer Whales At Amusement Parks Like Marineland

A Post from the Office of Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne
(A Brief Foreword by Niagara At Large publisher Doug Draper – The following media release from the Ontario government of Kathleen Wynne is good news, of course. No other provincial government before this one dared to place any meaningful restrictions on what amusement parks like Marineland in Niagara Falls, Ontario can or cannot do around keeping whales and other marine mammals in captivity.marineland-protest-best
My question is this. Why stop at killer whales (more softly known as orcas by true marine biologists who more fully work to study and respect this great specie’s place in the wild)? Why not apply the same ban on acquisition and breeding to other marine mammals, including beluga whales and dolphins?
Why not pass legislation to a point where amusement parks like Marineland, around their display of these great mammals in cement tanks, is as out of date and as unacceptable as fights to the death by gladiators in a Roman coliseum.
Surely by now, we can move beyond exploiting these great fellow travellers on our planet in this circus-like way!)
Ontario Increasing Oversight and Protection for Marine Mammals

This May 28th, 2015 the province passed the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, which will prohibit the acquisition and breeding of orcas (killer whales) in Ontario effective immediately.

To ensure the province continues to have the strongest animal protection legislation in Canada, the bill contains a number of other measures to improve the oversight and well-being of all marine mammals in Ontario. This includes:

  • Rules that allow the government to require animal welfare committees at any facility that houses marine mammals
  • Rules that allow the government to require facilities that house marine mammals to have qualified veterinarians with expertise in marine mammal medicine to oversee preventive and clinical care
  • Penalties of up to $60,000 and/or two years in prison on first conviction for breaches of the Act

The province is also working on setting specific standards of care for marine mammals which will reflect advice from an expert report by Dr. David Rosen, a University of British Columbia marine biologist, and recommendations from a technical advisory group. When introduced, Ontario will be the first jurisdiction in Canada to set specific standards of care for marine mammals.

The amendments complete a three-point plan initiated in October 2012 to strengthen protection for all animals.

QUICK FACTS

  • Ontario provides the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) with $5.5 million annually to strengthen the protection of animals.

 

 

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