Steps to end cruelty at marine parks

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Protecting whales and dolphins
By Michelle Robertson
In an important win for the protection of marine life, Canada’s government has decided to ban the holding or breeding of whales and dolphins in captivity. This law has been hailed as a ‘moral obligation’ by animal rights activists who have been fighting to end the cycle of mammals being trained and forced to entertain people. Any new cases of these species of marine life being exploited in this way could face fines of up to 200,000 Canadian dollars (€150,000).

Marine mammals that are already held will be allowed to remain in captivity, plus any animals that need rehabilitation from injury. Nonetheless, this is a huge step in preventing the continuation of this cruelty. The law will target companies like Marineland, which opposed the ban because it currently has 55 beluga whales, five bottlenose dolphins and one orca. These will be exempt from the new law, but they cannot be replaced. The same applies to the Niagara Falls Amusement Park and which had been committed to keeping cetaceans in captivity.


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