The bill (S-203) is also known as the “Ending the Captivity of Whales and Dolphins Act,” and it was approved by the House of Commons after they voted in favour of the bill, which was first introduced in 2015.
The only time capture is permitted in Canada is for rescue purposes or, unfortunately, for scientific purposes. According to Green Party Leader MP Elizabeth May, “Canadians have been clear, they want the cruel practice of keeping whales and dolphins in captivity to end... With the passage of Bill S-203, we have ensured that this will happen.” More than 20 marine scientists and stakeholder organizations endorsed the bill, which quite frankly should have happened long ago.
These beings, or any beings for that matter, do not belong in tanks where they are constantly suffering.
These are extremely emotional, social, empathetic and brilliant beings. What we’ve done to them and continue to do to them is beyond horrid, to be blunt. This bill was supposed to phase out this type of captivity in Canada, but that doesn’t seem to be the case, as Marineland Canada’s whales will remain at the park following the page of S-203. Already captive whales will remain in captivity, which means approximately 60 animals will live out their entire lives at Marineland and at the Vancouver Aquarium. Canadian law now states that it’s a criminal offence, as it should be, to keep a cetacean in captivity, but it looks like Marineland Canada has been exempted from this. It does not seem, however, that they can bring more animals into the park, but they’ll more than likely begin breeding programs to keep their business going for as long as they can. According to Marie Holer, a representative from Marineland Canada: We’ve been working to evolve Marineland for over a year and have made many positive changes to the park, including the new educational presentation on marine mammals, the introduction of the Marineland Express and our Polar Splash pad that will open in July. Since opening day, we’ve seen our largest crowds in years and are thrilled that so many people support us in our work. We’re looking forward to enhancing our education, conservation and research focus in the short term to highlight our commitment to marine mammals.” Is this truly a good step? As long as these animals are in captivity, there can be no care given to these animals. Why do we as human beings feel we can imprison animals like this is simply for entertainment? It feels heartbreaking, confusing, and makes deeply question the state of our connection to wildlife. Have we really become that disconnected from life? It’s not all bleak though! Things are obviously improving, and that’s become quite evident thanks to the vast amount of activism over the years that has finally resulted in the passing of the legislation mentioned in this article, but we still have a long way to go. Remember, these animals have never really shown any type of aggression towards humans, except in captivity. Why do human beings go to the circus? Why do they go to places like Marineland? Is it because human beings are terrible? No. It’s simply because many of us have been desensitized and have not quite questioned this in many ways. Which is OK! That’s part of the process. When it comes to animal captivity, mass marketing and scientific justifications have allowed our minds to be manipulated.
They’ve made us think that animal captivity is okay, when clearly we would not like to be confined against our will, so why do it to others? I believe that we’re all born as extremely understanding beings, and that humans are a very empathetic race. I believe that our feelings and our ability to experience empathy are what makes us special. I also believe that these traits and characteristics left us for a while, but they are now returning and we are beginning to “think” from our hearts again. This is why awareness regarding animal captivity has increased and will continue to increase around the globe until it is completely banned everywhere, or until people simply stop showing up to these places and providing them with pr.
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