Criminal charges followed LCA investigation and complaints about Marineland using captive whales and dolphins in shows for entertainment purposes
TORONTO, Dec. 21, 2022 /CNW/ – Last Chance for Animals (LCA) expressed outrage today after the Crown stayed the criminal proceedings against Marineland Canada after the Niagara Regional Police Service charged the facility in December 2021. Based on an undercover investigation and video footage supplied by LCA, law enforcement criminally charged Marineland with using whales and dolphins in shows for entertainment, without authorization.
“The Crown’s decision today is totally unacceptable,” said Chris DeRose, Founder and President of Last Chance for Animals. “The video evidence doesn’t lie. There is no ambiguity. Marineland illegally used dolphins and whales to entertain guests. The Crown’s decision completely undermines and renders toothless the 2019 law that expressly criminalizes this activity. The Crown should immediately reconsider and reverse its current course. These animals – and the people who fought so hard to pass the Ending the Captivity of Whales and Dolphins Act – deserve justice.”
LCA has consistently called for greater transparency about the health of marine animals at Marineland. During undercover investigations, LCA exposed shocking abuse and neglect at the controversial theme park. LCA has long documented inadequate housing, treatment, and care of the animals and was instrumental in the passage of the 2019 Canadian Bill S-203: Ending the Captivity of Whales and Dolphins Act, which outlawed the keeping, breeding, and capture of cetaceans and prohibits using them in entertainment performances without authorization. LCA has inquired numerous times in the past as to why Marineland shows continue to go on. Marineland admitted in 2021 that it did not have a license for these shows.
Since the Act passed in 2019, LCA investigators have observed and documented whale and dolphin performances on multiple occasions, most notably in August 2021, which formed the basis of LCA’s complaint. During visits in August of 2021, dolphins were documented doing flips, spinning, having a “dolphin dance party” and performing other tricks on command to music in front of a live audience. Beluga whales were also documented being instructed to perform tricks for food in front of park attendees.
“Today’s decision is a miscarriage of justice,” said DeRose. “Ignoring animal abuse and cruelty will not make the problem magically vanish. We urge the Crown to prosecute Marineland Canada to the full extent of the law and hold them accountable for their actions. Marineland is not above the law.”
ABOUT LAST CHANCE FOR ANIMALS:
LCA is an international non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating animal exploitation through education, investigations, legislation, and public awareness campaigns. Since its formation in 1984, LCA has succeeded as one of the nation’s pioneer animal advocacy groups. LCA’s educational and public outreach programs have empowered the public to make positive changes for animals in their communities. For more information, visit https://lcanimal.org
SOURCE Last Chance For Animals