Well, this is a step forward! Check out what Canada is doing – they have a bill that is evidence-based policy. How refreshing is that? Here is how they see it:
“Whales and dolphins are highly intelligent, emotional and social creatures that roam vast distances in the sea,” said former Senator Moore. “Science tells us that keeping them in captivity is unjustifiably cruel. Canada’s laws should reflect the evidence.”
The Ending the Captivity of Whales and Dolphins Act is a progressive law that was passed by Canada’s parliament. But sadly it is not retroactive and therefore the ban does not apply to two amusement parks in Canada. Marineland in the city of Niagara Falls and the aquarium in Vancouver, which are the only marine mammals in Canada, may, therefore, keep their animals.
But it is still a step forward here is the bill.
Bill S-203, Ending the Captivity of Whales and Dolphin Acts, is strong, spearheading legislation that would protect cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) from the trauma of confinement for human entertainment by banning their captive breeding, imports, exports, and live captures. The bill does not stop or impede the rescue, research or rehabilitation of injured individuals and owners of currently captive whales and dolphins would be able to keep them, just not breed them. Former Nova Scotia Senator Willie Moore tabled the bill in 2015 and it has been treading water ever since, until this week.
In the wild, many cetacean species live their entire lives with their families called pods that may contain up to 100 members. Different pods have their own dialects, whistles particular to their family. Orcas can travel up to 150 kilometers a day, reaching speeds of 45 kilometers an hour and dive more than 200 meters deep. In comparison, “a captive orca’s range is the only 1/10,000th of 1 percent the size of its natural home range. Just think about that: 1/10,000th of 1 percent of its natural home range.”
Ten reasons why dolphins shouldn’t be in captivity
- Captive dolphins are controlled by their food
- The life span of a captive dolphin is far shorter than a wild dolphin
- In most cases, the dolphins in marine parks must be captured from the wild
- Wild dolphins that are forced into captivity find themselves away from their family and everything else they’ve ever known
- The demand for dolphins in marine entertainment parks contributes to the massacres in Japan.
- The “education” that marine parks teach is far from the truth
- Visiting a marine park reinforces the idea that there is a strong demand for these shows
- It is impossible for a dolphin to live a decent life in captivity
- Buying tickets for a marine mammal show is contributing to the retention of information on the real mental capacity of dolphins
- The best reason to avoid dolphinariums? Anyone who truly loves dolphins cannot stand to see them suffer
World Animal Protection, an organization in Canada, praised the breeding ban as a huge step forward and hopes the world takes note. The whales and dolphins, which are currently kept in “tiny tanks” in Canada, are “the last generation to suffer” – it’s about time!