In Canada, the Parliament approved the law for the freedom of cetaceans; animals already in captivity will remain so. It is forbidden to capture or detain whales, dolphins, and porpoises expect for a short period for rehabilitation or research. This decree was accepted by the House of Commons, in accordance with the Senate.
A move appreciated by animal rights activists, who supported this decree by tweeting with the #EmptyTheTanks hashtags and #FreeWilly.
Those who violate this decree will be punishable with fines of approximately 200,000 Canadian dollars.
In 2015, former Nova Scotia Senator Wilfred Moore introduced this measure, known as Ending the Captivity of Whales and Dolphins Act, stating that it would be a “moral obligation” to end animal segregation.
Now, having to give the final consent, Queen Elizabeth, as head of the Canadian State, will free the cetaceans by putting the seal on this legislation issued by the Canadian Parliament.
There are two cetacean facilities in Canada: Marineland in Niagara Falls, Ontario, where there are marine mammals, including more than 50 beluga whales, according to CTV News, and the Vancouver Aquarium.
According to the CBC, the legal measure will affect these parks. Marineland was initially opposed to the prohibition by fighting it and affirming that this would damage the holdings and conservation efforts. Subsequently, Marineland declared in favor of the law.
The Vancouver Aquarium also accepted the statutory measure, stating that it would no longer show dolphins and bulwarks, thus also surrendering to the public opinion that does not find the use of animals as entertainment an ethical choice.
Stuart Mackinnon, president of the Park’s board of directors, says “The public told us they believed the continuing importation and display of these intelligent and sociable mammals was unethical and incompatible with evolving public opinion and we amended our bylaws accordingly, “
In 2016, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, which has SeaWorld parks in California, Florida, and Texas, USA, said it would stop the breeding of captive killer whales, shifting attention to cetacean rescue operations.
The Blackfish documentary, shot in 2013, takes up the dramatic story of the Tilikum orca, bred in SeaWorld Parks in Florida. Tilikum spent many years in captivity and killed Dawn Brancheau in front of a live audience.
This documentary created outrage and public protests precisely because of the way captive killer whales were treated.
Around the world, there are about 60 orcas held in captivity in parks and aquariums. “A third of the world captive orcas are in the United States, and all but one of those live at SeaWorld’s three parks in Orlando, San Diego, and San Antonio, “National Geographic informs.
In recent years numerous documentaries show the severe conditions in which these marine mammals live in theme parks.
Dolphins and whales don’t belong in tanks and captivity. The inherent suffering of these highly social and intelligent animals endure in intensive confinement can no longer be tolerated.
At a news conference near SeaWorld’s San Diego park, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) issued a report which documented physical harm dolphins suffer from in live shows and captivity. The most significant concern was that the trainers would use dolphins as surf-boards and ride on their beaks and backs, which strain the mammals lower jaws and can damage their hearing, injure muscles and joints.