OTTAWA, April 2, 2019 /CNW/ – Humane Canada applauds the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans for advancing Bill S-203, an act to end the captivity of whales and dolphins. The “Free Willy” bill, as it’s also known, is almost at the finish line. If it passes third reading at the House of Commons, it will become law.
If enacted into law, the bill will ban the keeping of whales, dolphins and porpoises, known collectively as cetaceans, for entertainment and displaying purposes. The bill will however, still allow for legitimate scientific research and rescue efforts.
“This bill was a long time coming”, said Barbara Cartwright, CEO of Humane Canada. “The scientific evidence has proven that cetaceans don’t thrive in captivity. Moreover, we as Canadians have a moral obligation to phase out the keeping of these intelligent creatures all for the purpose of public entertainment”.
The committee received more than 9,000 e-mails and phone calls over the weekend, showing that Canadians care about whales and dolphins and want to see them where they belong – in the wild. “The public has been crucial in advancing this bill. We want to urge them to continue asking their MPs to support this ground-breaking piece of legislation”, continued Cartwright.
Originally introduced in 2015 by now retired Senator Wilfred Moore, Bill S-203 faced many challenges and loopholes throughout its lifespan. The bill’s biggest opponents have been the only two facilities in Canada that still keep cetaceans captive – Marineland and the Vancouver Aquarium.
Humane Canada has worked closely with stakeholders, other animal welfare groups and parliamentarians to help pass this bill from its inception in December 2015. “Today was certainly an overdue victory but it doesn’t mean our work ends here. We won’t give up until we see Parliament banning the captivity of cetaceans in our country”, concluded Cartwright.
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Humane Canada is the federation of SPCAs and humane societies, driving positive, progressive change to end animal cruelty, improve animal protection and promote the humane treatment of all animals. To learn more about Humane Canada, please visit humanecanada.ca
SOURCE Humane Canada