DEEPLY DISTURBING REPORTS OF FURTHER ANIMAL DEATHS AT MARINELAND
Mere weeks away from opening for another season, there are reports that more animals have died at Marineland.
"It's deeply disturbing to hear reports that a beluga whale and dolphin are the latest animals to die at Marineland," said Michèle Hamers, World Animal Protection's Wildlife Campaign Manager. "It raises many questions around the state of care and reinforces ongoing concerns around the wellbeing of the rest of the animals at the facility."
World Animal Protection has long raised concerns over the activities at this under-regulated facility, and the lack of regulations in Ontario. Kiska, Marineland's last living orca died less than two months ago and as recently as last year, World Animal Protection found Marineland seemingly continuing to engage in programming that exploits the animals it continues to own, including dolphins, which is illegal under Canada's Criminal Code.
Marineland was previously charged for using captive dolphins in performances for entertainment purposes. Those charges were stayed in December, due largely to backlogs in Ontario's criminal justice system.
Animal welfare and captivity in Canada falls under both federal and provincial jurisdiction.
Marineland, like so many other under-regulated facilities in Ontario, continues to dodge accountability because of Ontario's weak animal welfare enforcement, which has bred a culture of non-compliance with what little regulations that exist in the province.
"Given the high number of animal deaths and Marineland's poor track record, the province should conduct a comprehensive investigation into the cause of death and the conditions the remaining animals are kept in," added Hamers. "We are calling on Ontario's Solicitor General Michael Kerzner to urgently implement stronger regulations and enforcement to protect the health and welfare of the remaining animals at Marineland and in other underregulated zoos and facilities across Ontario before more animals suffer and someone gets hurt."
World Animal Protection has been asking the Ontario government to pass stronger regulations and improve enforcement for decades.
There is no reason for animals like the ones held in captivity at Marineland to be kept in this country for entertainment purposes. World Animal Protection applauds the work underway in Canada's Senate with Bill S-241, the Jane Goodall Act, which would protect many more species from being used for entertainment in Canada.