Canada adopts "Save Willy" law, which aims to ban captivity and breeding of cetaceans


A decision hailed by animal rights activists.

TheCanadian parliamentarians validated on Monday a bill banning the captivity and breeding of cetaceans such as whales or dolphins, a move hailed by animal rights activists. This bill, tabled in 2015, which still requires symbolic royal approval, makes amendments to the Penal Code to prohibit Canada, among other things, from captive possession and forced reproduction of these marine mammals.

This law will not be retroactive, cetaceans currently in captivity will remain so, and certain exceptions will apply particularly in the case of animals requiring rehabilitation following an injury or in the case of an authorization provided by authorities. Marineland Park in Niagara Falls (East) and Vancouver Aquarium (West) are the only two Canadian facilities with cetaceans in captivity.

A law adopted in ten countries

"This is a very important law in the sense that it prohibits breeding and therefore ensures that whales and dolphins currently kept in tiny tanks in Canada are the last generation to suffer," said Melissa Matlow in a statement. campaign director of the NGO World Animal Protection Canada.

Canada has joined the dozen countries that have "adopted a progressive position against captivity and breeding" cetaceans, including Costa Rica and Chile, according to a spokesman for the NGO.

"We hope that other countries will now follow Canada's lead and that travel agencies will be aware of the declining (social) acceptance of such attractions," the NGO said. In the summer of 2018, the British tour operator Thomas Cook indicated its intention to remove from the catalog attractions involving "orcs in captivity" after a review of the group's animal welfare policy.

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