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Mass stranding of pilot whales in Tasmania

Mass stranding of pilot whales in Tasmania

Over 450 pilot whales have stranded in various locations along a stretch of coastline in...
Tahlequah, the Southern Resident orca, gives birth to healthy calf

Tahlequah, the Southern Resident orca, gives birth to healthy calf

J35 and J57. Photo by Katie Jones, Center for Whale Research / Permit #21238 Tahlequah...
Why do female orcas live so long after they stop having babies?

Why do female orcas live so long after they stop having babies?

Orcas are one of only five species known to experience menopause and females can live...
Humpback whales swim up river in Kakadu National Park

Humpback whales swim up river in Kakadu National Park

Wildlife experts in Australia's Northern Territory are monitoring a humpback whale that has travelled 18...
WDC scientists join call for global action to protect whales and dolphins from extinction

WDC scientists join call for global action to protect whales and dolphins from extinction

Scientists from Whale and Dolphin Conservation, along with over 250 other experts from 40 countries,...
Rastus – the tale of an extraordinary dog and his love of dolphins

Rastus – the tale of an extraordinary dog and his love of dolphins

Rastus Dr Nicolette Scourse is an academic, educator, author and illustrator with a passion for...
BELUGA WHALE SANCTUARY UPDATE:  Little Grey and Little White arrive safely after move to bay care area

BELUGA WHALE SANCTUARY UPDATE: Little Grey and Little White arrive safely after move to bay care area

We can now confirm that two beluga whales, Little Grey and Little White, are now...
Vessel Speed Limits Sought to Protect Endangered North Atlantic Right Whales

Vessel Speed Limits Sought to Protect Endangered North Atlantic Right Whales

"What we are asking for are essentially school zones along our coast, areas where vessels...

Canada outlaws holding whales and dolphins in captivity

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It’s official!  Canada’s “Free Willy” bill S-203 has been passed into law, making it illegal to hold whales and dolphins in captivity in Canada.  While the bill incorporates individuals currently held in facilities – now just Marineland Canada in Ontario and the Vancouver Aquarium in British Columbia (which has already committed to phasing out its captive-held whales and dolphins) – it outlaws captive breeding and the display and trade of whales and dolphins.

We at WDC are celebrating with our friends in Canada who worked so hard to ensure this bill passed.  After being introduced in 2015, S-203 faced unprecedented efforts to stall, delay, and halt passage in the Canadian Senate, despite overwhelming and widespread support among Canadians.  Fears grew as the current Parliamentary session neared its end before the next federal election, as failure to pass before Parliament adjourned would have permanently killed the bill.

In the nick of time, and thanks to a last-minute surge of effort from Canadian animal welfare groups, S-203 has passed the House of Commons and is on its way to the desk of Prime Minister Trudeau.  “We are thrilled that S-203 will now become law, and Canada has joined the growing list of countries, states, and communities that recognize the cruelty of holding whales and dolphins captive,” said Colleen Weiler, Jessica Rekos Fellow with WDC.  “Today we celebrate, and tomorrow we go back to work to ensure the welfare and protection of those still held captive in Canada.”

WDC is working with the SEA LIFE Trust to welcome two captive-held belugas to the world’s first ever sanctuary for whales and dolphins.  Sea sanctuaries provide a more natural alternative for captive-held whales and dolphins, and we hope that more of these sanctuaries can be established to provide a home for all whales and dolphins currently held in captivity.

Related News

Mass stranding of pilot whales in Tasmania

Mass stranding of pilot whales in Tasmania

Over 450 pilot whales have stranded in various locations along a stretch of coastline in a remote part of Tasmania in Australia. Originally it was...
Tahlequah, the Southern Resident orca, gives birth to healthy calf

Tahlequah, the Southern Resident orca, gives birth to healthy calf

J35 and J57. Photo by Katie Jones, Center for Whale Research / Permit #21238 Tahlequah (J35), an orca from the Southern Resident population, has given...
Why do female orcas live so long after they stop having babies?

Why do female orcas live so long after they stop having babies?

Orcas are one of only five species known to experience menopause and females can live for many decades after their last calf.  The only other...
Humpback whales swim up river in Kakadu National Park

Humpback whales swim up river in Kakadu National Park

Wildlife experts in Australia's Northern Territory are monitoring a humpback whale that has travelled 18 miles (30km) up the East Alligator river. It is the...