The Ontario SPCA Charges Marineland Park In Niagara Falls With Six Counts Of Animal Cruelty

News from the Ontario Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals

With a Foreword from Niagara At Large publisher Doug Draper and Marineland’s written response to the charges

Posted January 9th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

The OSPCA – an arm of the Ontario government – has slapped another six charges of animal cruelty against Marineland, less than two months after laying five charges of animal abuse against the same amusement park in Niagara Falls, Ontario, posted on NAL on November 27th, 2016.

One of many animal activist protests held outside of Marineland’s front gates in recent years. File photo by Doug Draper

One of many animal activist protests held outside of Marineland’s front gates in recent years. File photo by Doug Draper

The latest charges, following an investigation of Marineland’s operations that the OSPCA describes as “extensive,” involve the treatment of Elk and deer in the park.

In a statement Marineland shared with Niagara At Large shortly after the OSPCA announced the new round of charges at a news conference, it said; “Once again the OSPCA has opted to publicly announce charges and this time even undertook a press conference with the Deputy Chief Inspector of the OSPCA Jennifer Bluhm answering questions for the media.”

“A representative of Marineland contacted Melissa Kosowan of the OSPCA to seek our participation by phone or web link in their press conference to allow us to hear the information they were sharing with the media, but had not shared with us. This request was refused, with Marineland being told this was not possible.”

Niagara At Large will now run the entire media release on the charges, circulated this January 9th by the OSPCA, followed by the full statement from Marineland.

A response from theToronto-based  animal advocacy group  ZooCheck Canada, which has been monitoring and raising concerns about Marineland’s treatment of animals for more than two decades now, may be forthcoming, and Niagara At Large will post its take on these charges too.

Here, first,  is the release from the OSPCA –

Niagara Falls, Ontario –  The Ontario SPCA has charged Marineland Canada Inc. with six counts of animal cruelty under the Ontario SPCA Act.

On November 10, 2016, the Ontario SPCA responded to concerns brought forth regarding some of the animals living at Marineland. An investigation was launched and on November 25, 2016, Marineland was charged with 5 counts of animal cruelty under the Ontario SPCA Act.

This investigation has been extensive and as a result of the evidence that has been revealed during the investigation process, today, the Ontario SPCA served Marineland with an additional 6 counts of animal cruelty under the Ontario SPCA Act, totaling 11 counts of animal cruelty.

Animal activists demonstrate in front of Marineland on opening weekend in 2016. File photo by Doug Draper

Animal activists demonstrate in front of Marineland on opening weekend in 2016. File photo by Doug Draper

The charges filed this January 9th, 2017 are as follows.

  • One count for permitting Elk to be in distress
  • One count of failing to provide prescribed standards of care for Elk
  • One count of permitting Red Deer to be in distress
  • One count of failing to provide prescribed standards of care for Red Deer
  • One count of permitting Fallow Deer to be in distress
  • One count of failing to provide prescribed standards of care for Fallow Deer

No animals were removed, as the Ontario SPCA can only remove an animal if/when the following have occurred:

  1. An animal is in immediate distress. In this situation, Ontario SPCA officers did not find the animals to be in immediate distress, as defined by the Ontario SPCA Act.
  2. A veterinarian has recommended the removal of the animal to ensure the animal gets the care it requires.
  3. Ontario SPCA Act Orders have been issued but were not complied with.

“We try to educate wherever possible, but we will enforce the law when it’s necessary,” says Steve Toy, Senior Inspector, Ontario SPCA. “We want to reassure the public that the Society will continue to make sure these animals are getting the care they require.”

To report animal cruelty in Ontario, concerned citizens can call the 24-hour province-wide animal cruelty hotline at 310-SPCA (7722) or email cruelty@ospca.on.ca .

Finally, here is the statement issued this January 9th by Marineland –

Marineland Canada is responding to news reports of additional charges being laid against the park by the OSPCA related to alleged failures to respond to the standard of animal care and permitting an animal to be in distress related to a Fallow Deer, a Red Deer and an Elk.

These charges stem from an inspection on November 10, 2016, sixty- days ago. The OSPCA charges fail to identify a specific animal they believe to be in distress or not receiving an appropriate level of care sixty-one days ago at our park, and failed to identify a specific animal in their charges today.

Once again the OSPCA has opted to publicly announce charges and this time even undertook a press conference with the Deputy Chief Inspector of the OSPCA Jennifer Bluhm answering questions for the media.

A representative of Marineland contacted Melissa Kosowan of the OSPCA to seek our participation by phone or web link in their press conference to allow us to hear the information they were sharing with the media, but had not shared with us.

This request was refused, with Marineland being told this was not possible. We believe the OSPCA is continuing a publicity campaign at the behest of a band of discredited activists with little relevant expertise or knowledge, in an effort to avoid further embarrassment related to an ongoing investigation into the OSPCA’s perceived failure to protect animals that is being led by the same activists they are now firmly in bed with.

Marineland looks forward to the OSPCA laying out their case in court, where facts matter and there is an objective measure of reality that has not been seen in the basis of their charges or the supporting documentation. We will hold the OSPCA to the high standards of Ontario’s legal system and require them to defend their charges to the fullest extent possible.

Sincerely, Marketing Department, Marineland Canada, Inc.

For more information from  Marineland, click onwww.marineland.ca

For the story Niagara At Large posted last November on the earlier round of charges against Marineland, click onhttps://niagaraatlarge.com/2016/11/27/ontario-spca-charges-marineland-with-five-counts-of-animal-cruelty/ .

One of many animal activist protests held outside of Marineland’s front gates in recent years. File photo by Doug Draper

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A reminder that we only post comments by individuals who also share their first and last names.

For more news and commentary from Niagara At Large – an independent, alternative voice for our greater binational Niagara region – become a regular visitor and subscriber to NAL at www.niagaraatlarge.com .

 “A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders

 

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