Canada bans the captivity of whales, dolphins and porpoises for entertainment

11 June 2019

A federal bill to ban the trade, breeding and display of whales, dolphins and porpoises for entertainment will become law.

The passing of Bill S-203 is a major victory for animal welfare in Canada! After more than three years of significant debate, science was on the side of captive wild animals.

Together we've been able to demonstrated that Canadians are against keeping these social, intelligent and vast roaming marine mammals in small, barren tanks for entertainment. 

The passing of Bill S-203 will amend the Canadian Criminal Code (among other legislation) with fines up to $200,000 for breaking the law. This is a significant statement, reflecting the immense suffering whales, dolphins and porpoises experience when kept in captivity. However, the Bill S-203 does makes an exception for animals currently captive and those needing care or rehabilitation. 

Growing global movement to ban whale and dolphin cruelty

As scientific understanding of marine mammals grows, so does public opposition to keeping them in small, barren tanks.Our latest report, Case Against Marine Mammals in Captivity,  jointly published with the Animal Welfare Institute, demonstrates the scientific and ethical arguments in support of banning marine mammal captivity.

Jurisdictions around the world are responding to the science by passing laws to ban or significantly restrict the captive display of marine mammals including Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, India, Luxembourg, Norway, Switzerland, UK, and now Canada.

Let’s make sure the current generation of dolphins in captivity is the last

Australia has one of the world’s largest captive dolphin venues: Sea World, on the Gold Coast. There are currently 30+ dolphins at Sea World, most of which were born and bred there. Even more may be bred in future to provide entertainment for tourists – unless we act.

With your support, we're calling on the Queensland Government to ban breeding at Sea World, and begin work on a sea sanctuary for the dolphins who cannot be released into the wild. 

These highly intelligent animals can live up to 50 years in captivity in small concrete pools - a world away from the wild where they range over hundreds of square kilometres. For these captive dolphins, it means 50 years of boredom and confinement, punctuated only by performing in shows and interacting with tourists.

Together, we can act to ensure that the dolphins at Sea World are the last generation to suffer a lifetime of captivity.

Jurisdictions around the world are responding to the science by passing laws to ban or significantly restrict the captive display of marine mammals including Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, India, Luxembourg, Norway, Switzerland, UK, and now Canada.
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