Canada bans the captivity of whales, dolphins and porpoises for entertainment

June 11 2019

The passing of Bill S-203 is a major victory for animal welfare in Canada, and part of a global movement towards better lives for ocean mammals

The long fight

Bill S-203 went through more than three years of significant debate, but science was on our side. We demonstrated that Canadians are against keeping these social, intelligent and vast roaming marine mammals in small, barren tanks for entertainment.

Our Canada team made sure that every Member of Parliament had a copy of our Case Against Marine Mammals in Captivity report on hand when they reviewed, debated and finally passed this important bill. Our latest report, published jointly with the Animal Welfare Institute, demonstrates the scientific and ethical arguments in support of banning cetacean captivity.

You can read about our CAMMIC report below.

This bill will lead to fines of up to CA $200,000 for breaking the law. This is a significant statement, reflecting the immense suffering cetaceans experience when kept in captivity for entertainment.

While it does include an exception for animals currently captive and those needing care or rehabilitation, this bill is to phase out the captivity of whales, dolphins and porpoises for the purpose of public display and entertainment.

A man swimming with a dolphin, an example of a cruel wildlife attraction

Growing global movement to ban whale and dolphin cruelty

As scientific understanding of marine mammals grows, so does public opposition to keeping them in small, barren tanks.

Jurisdictions around the world are responding to the science by passing laws to ban or significantly restrict the captive display of marine mammals including Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, India, Luxembourg, Norway, Switzerland, UK, and now Canada.

What else you can do

Through our Wildlife. Not Entertainers campaign, we are working to stamp out all cruel wildlife entertainment like dolphin shows and elephant rides.

Click here to learn more about our campaign.

As scientific understanding of marine mammals grows, so does public opposition to keeping them in small, barren tanks.

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