It’s official, Canadians will no longer be allowed to breed or hold in captivity, whales, dolphins and porpoises for the purpose of entertainment.

This is a big win for animal rights now that  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 goverment last Monday, has ensured that “cetaceans” (aquatic mammals) will no longer be subject to the trauma of confinement for aquatic entertainment parks that only exist to make profit from animal captivity.

The new law also helps prevent other  marine animals from being subject to captive breeding, the import/export market, live captures, and also outlaws the possession of reproductive matter. (Yes, that stuff)

However, the only problem with this bill is that it still allows 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. This means that aquariums, parks and zoos will be allowed to keep their captive performing cetaceans but will no longer be allowed to replace them. So this change will take some time to fully see the results.

More about the bill:

Tabled by former Sen. Wilfred Moore of Nova Scotia in 2010, hailed the passage of the law in a statement from the Humane Society International/Canada.

The former Liberal Party senator said:

“We have a moral obligation to phase out the capture and retention of animals for profit and entertainment. Canadians are calling upon us to do better—and we have listened.”

Animal rights activists, defenders and protectors, along with marine scientists around the world have celebrated the news of the bill’s passage, through tweets under the hashtags #EmptyTheTanks and #FreeWilly.

Experts have warned that whales and dolphins face intense psychological and physical suffering while in captivity, including but not limited to, chronic health problems, behavior disorders, prolonged isolation, extreme boredom, and high infant mortality.

The move adds Canada to a growing list of countries seeking an end to aquatic animal captivity. HSI/Canada executive director Rebecca Aldworth described the passing of the bill as a “watershed moment” for the protection of the sea creatures, as a well as a victory for the people of Canada who want “a more humane country,”.

She says:

“Whales and dolphins don’t belong in tanks, and the inherent suffering these highly social and intelligent animals endure in intensive confinement can no longer be tolerated.”

What do you think, do you agree? Let us know in the comment section if you think this is a good move.

The two main corporations affected by the law are Marineland in Niagara Falls, and the Vancouver Aquarium. According to CBC, Marineland holds about 61 aquatic animals in captivity, including “55 beluga whales, five bottlenose dolphins and one orca.”

Marineland initially opposed the ban, but conceded Monday in a statement that its operations have evolved since the park was founded in the 1960s and it would comply with the new legislation.

The Vancouver Aquarium has also bent to public opposition last year with its pledge to no longer hold aqautic animals for entertainment purposes. At the time, they only have one dolphin being held at the facility.

A statement released Monday, by Vancouver Park Board Chair, Stuart Mackinnon said:

“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.”

About 60 Orcas are still held in captivity worldwide at different parks and aquariums, and about a third of those Orcas are living in the U.S. All but one are captives at SeaWorld Parks in Orlando, San Diego, and San Antonio, National Geographic reports.

Despite the company’s pledges to reduce and stop using aquatic animals for entertainment, its main attractions still include dolphin shows. The company’s vice president of animal health and welfare, Hendrik Nollens, has defended the shows, claiming that dolphins “are faster than us. They are stronger than us.”

Nollens added:

“They are in charge. They choose … They decide whether to do the interaction or not.”

However, Canadian marine scientist Hal Whitehead, who backs the new law, argues:

“The living conditions for captive marine mammals cannot compare to their natural ocean environments in size, nor in quality.”

Would you agree? Together we can change our society. Small steps in the right direction add up quick as proven here…