Federal government passes bill banning whale and dolphin captivity in Canada

11 Juin, 2019, 17:51 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • An orca in captivity

After the bill was passed by the Senate late past year, the Canadian government officially passed Bill S-203, the Ending the Captivity of Whales and Dolphins Act on Monday, June 10. Today, the House of Commons voted overwhelmingly in favour of Bill S-203, the Ending the Captivity of Whales and Dolphins Act.

The BC SPCA applauded the move by the federal government.

"Bill S-203 not only bans the capture and confinement of whales and dolphins, it also criminalizes the breeding of captive cetaceans - a North American first", said Dr. Sara Dubois, the BC SPCA's chief scientific officer.

"Canada is now one of 11 leading countries that have taken a progressive stand against the keeping and breeding of whales, dolphins and porpoises for entertainment", with Costa Rica and Chile among the others, said Nina Devries, the spokeswoman for the animal rights group. While the bill works on banning cetacean captivity, it also touches on rules and regulations surrounding the capture and assistance of animals in distress.

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According to CityNews, the bill will phase out the practice but will grandfather in those animals that are already being held in Marineland in Niagara Falls, Ontario, and the Vancouver Aquarium in BC. "With the passage of Bill S-203, we have ensured that this will happen".

Last year, British tour operator Thomas Cook announced it would stop selling trips to animal parks that keep captive killer whales.

"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. "Scientific evidence shows that confining whales and dolphins causes them physical and mental pain and suffering". It was originally introduced by retired Senator Wilfred Moore alongside Green Party Leader - MP Elizabeth May and Humane Canada in 2015.

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


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