Ottawa passes legislation that bans whale and dolphin captivity in Canada

Rodiano Bonacci
Giugno 11, 2019

The bill was first introduced in the Senate in 2015 and eventually made its way into the House of Commons, where it had its third and final reading today.

After the bill was passed by the Senate late a year ago, the Canadian government officially passed Bill S-203, the Ending the Captivity of Whales and Dolphins Act on Monday, June 10.

Canada has approved a bill banning the capture and breeding of cetaceans such as whales and dolphins, now punishable by fines up to $200,000.

According to local reports, Marineland, a themed amusement park and zoo in Niagara Falls, also opposed the bill saying it would devastate attendance and threaten conservation efforts at parks where these animals are on display.

According to the BC SPCA, Bill S-203 has been more than four years in the making having undergone more study than any other bill in recent history.

Bill S-203 will also work by banning the trade of reproductive materials, however, nothing in the legislation would criminalize the conduct of researchers.

Last year, British tour operator Thomas Cook announced it would stop selling trips to animal parks that keep captive killer whales. There are exemptions for cetaceans now in captivity, as well as for rescue and rehabilitation efforts.

"We've known for some time now that cetaceans are a highly intelligent, social, deep-diving species whose needs simple can not be met in a tank", says Dr. Dubois, the BC SPCA's chief scientific officer.

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, who happened to sponsor the bill in the House of Commons, said that this is something Canadians have clearly wanted, stating that we "want the cruel practice of keeping whales and dolphins in captivity to end". "Whales and dolphins don't belong in tanks, and the inherent suffering these highly social and intelligent animals endure in intensive confinement can no longer be tolerated".

Following the announcement, people have been sharing their excitement on social media.

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