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Whale and Dolphin Captivity Are Now Officially Banned in Canada

No more captive breeding. No more live captures. And certainly no more possession of reproductive matter. This is what a new Canadian law states.

That’s right! Canada passed a new bill in the Parliament on 10th June, 2019, prohibiting whales, porpoises, and dolphins from being held and bred in captivity for entertainment purposes.

Aquatic entertainment parks will no longer be allowed to subject aquatic mammals or cetaceans to the traumas and sufferings related to confinement, something which animal rights activists have labeled as nothing less than animal cruelty. And they’re correctamundo!  Imagine how you’d feel if you were confined to a specific area only for entertaining others, just like whales and dolphins are. It’d be like a depressing nightmare.

In fact, marine scientists and experts have said that captive breeding of dolphins and whales tend to lead to physical and psychological issues, such as abnormal behavior, extreme boredom, chronic health disorders, high infant mortality, and many more.

According to the Ending the Captivity of Whales and Dolphins Act, marine animals are also prevented from being subjected to the import-export market. All these clauses in the new law have given a reason to animal rights activists and marine scientists to celebrate! Instagram, Twitter, and other social media channels were filled with posts tagged with #FreeWilly and #EmptyTheTanks.
But wait. There’s a catch.

Zoos, parks, and aquariums will be allowed to still keep the following 4 categories of aquatic mammals: those on which limited scientific research is being conducted; those which were rescued; those that are being rehabilitated from injuries and are being taken care of; and those which are already being held in captivity now.

Nevertheless, the passage of the law showed that the Canadian Parliament is well aware of its moral obligation towards Canadians who wanted the legislators to do more for these animals.

Rebecca Aldworth, the executive director of the Humane Society International/Canada (HSI), clearly said that such “highly social and intelligent animals” as dolphins and whales belong in the ocean, not in tanks. The people of Canada can’t tolerate the sufferings that these mammals go through while in captivity any longer, as they want to be citizens of a country that’s more humane, said Aldworth.

She also stated that the passage of the bill was a historical moment for all of Canada.

The new law has mainly affected 2 marine facilities_ the Vancouver Aquarium, and Marineland in Niagara Falls. Last year, the Vancouver Aquarium had already pledged not to hold cetaceans captive for the purpose of entertainment any longer. Marineland, which holds 5 bottlenose dolphins, 55 beluga whales, and 7 other cetaceans in captivity, said on 10th June itself that it would comply with the new law, though it had initially opposed the ban.

However, some people still argue that marine mammals are well cared for, even in parks and aquariums which hold dolphin shows.

In reply, Hal Whitehead, a Canadian marine scientist, argued that the conditions in which captive aquatic animals are kept can’t really be compared to the natural oceanic environment, whether in terms of size or quality.

Whale and Dolphin Captivity Are Now Officially Banned in Canada Whale and Dolphin Captivity Are Now Officially Banned in Canada Reviewed by Tim on June 17, 2019 Rating: 5

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