Yesterday, was a very, very big day. America's neighbor to the north took a huge step towards ending whales and dolphins captivity in their country by passing the "Free Willy" bill
. The bill, which goes into effect at the end of June will amend the criminal code to make it illegal to keep cetaceans in captivity. It will also ban their import and export of ALL marine mammals in Canada.
Canada only has two parks that keep still keep whales and dolphins behind glass the Vancouver Aquarium which, in its 63-year history has had nearly 40 cetacean deaths.
And the highly controversial Marineland park in Ontario, Canada which, over the past 58 years has been the scene of a multitude of marine animal deaths
including, beluga whales, orcas, and walruses, some of which died as recently as this year.
The Free Willy bill, unfortunately, will not force these two parks to give up their animals and close immediately, the captivity of orcas like Kiska, Marineland's sole orca will continue. She and the remaining dolphins and whales at the facility will be the last to ever be forced to live in tiny tanks and perform for screaming crowds of witless spectators.
The United States has far more facilities holding marine animals captive. From marine animal theme parks like the notorious SeaWorld to the Mirage Hotel and Casino's Dolphin Habitat in Las Vegas, across the country marine mammals are being used as props and treated as money making machines. Day in and day out forced to jump through hoops, do backflips on command, endure hours of screams and cheers from onlookers, all for a handful of sardines. It is time for the US government to follow in the footsteps of Canada and ban cetacean captivity nationally as well. There is no longer an excuse. We cannot continue to allow this cruelty.
Whales and dolphins have the right to live free just as we do and the only way to ensure that is to pass a federal law prohibiting their captivity.
Please join the movement against marine mammal cruelty. Sign the petition and demand that the U.S. Congress end this practice now. Then call or write your congressperson and senator and make sure they hear your voice.