In a big win for animal rights advocates, Canada will no longer allow whales, dolphins and porpoises to be bred and held in captivity for the purpose of entertainment.
The Ending the Captivity of Whales and Dolphins Act, which was passed by Canada’s parliament on Monday, will ensure that cetaceans—or aquatic mammals—will no longer be subject to the trauma of confinement in aquatic entertainment parks, which animal rights activists have blasted as amounting to a system of animal cruelty.
The new law also prevents marine animals from being subject to captive breeding, the import-export market, live captures, and also outlaws the possession of reproductive matter.
However, the bill does include some notable exceptions while allowing for marine mammals who are already held to remain in captivity, including those who were rescued, are being rehabilitated from injuries, or are the subjects of limited scientific research. Aquariums, parks and zoos will be allowed to keep their captive performing cetaceans but can no longer replace them.
Note : About ten countries, including Costa Rica and Chile, have adopted a similar position with regard to marine animals in captivity or being bred and it is hoped that more will follow suit. Last summer British travel organization Thomas Cook indicated they would eliminate from their travel catalogue attractions that involve orcas taking into consideration the wellbeing of the animals.