Canada’s parliament has passed a new bill to ban whales and dolphins in captivity. Picture: AP
Canada’s parliament has passed a new bill to ban whales and dolphins in captivity. Picture: AP

Canada’s stunning new whale ban

Canada's parliament just passed a whale of a bill.

On Monday, the Canadian House of Commons made it illegal to keep a whale, dolphin or porpoise captive. The "Free Willy" bill S203 - named after the 1993 movie about a young boy who frees an orca from a US water park - will make cetacean captivity punishable by fines up to $US150,000 ($A215,000).

The new bill will make whale and dolphin captivity punishable by fines up to $A215,000.
The new bill will make whale and dolphin captivity punishable by fines up to $A215,000.

"Nothing fantastic ever happens in a hurry," animal activist group Human Canada posted on Twitter. "But today we celebrate that we have ended the captivity and breeding of whales and dolphins. This is news to splash a fin at."

First brought before Canadian legislators back in 2015, the bill is expected to be signed into law once it gains "royal assent" or approval by the Canadian monarchy. Exceptions to the measure includes animals being rescued or rehabilitated or those cleared for scientific research.

The bill is expected to be signed into law once it gains approval by the Canadian monarchy. Picture: Gerardo Mora/Getty Images.
The bill is expected to be signed into law once it gains approval by the Canadian monarchy. Picture: Gerardo Mora/Getty Images.

The bill reads, "A person may move a live cetacean from its immediate vicinity when the cetacean is injured or in distress and is in need of assistance."

In a recent statement, the Green Party of Canada said, "These intelligent, social mammals will now get to live where they belong - in the ocean."

Many on social media are using the hashtag #emptythetanks to spread the good news.

"BREAKING and AMAZING: #Canadian parliament just passed #BillS203 which bans whales and dolphins in captivity in #Canada. It's a great day for animals!! This ban is now law. #animallaw #animalrights #emptythetanks," tweeted animal rights lawyer Rebeka Breder.

Canada’s ban on captive whales and dolphins will not affect those already in captivity, meaning nearly 60 animals will likely live out their natural lives at Marineland and the Vancouver Aquarium. Picture: AP
Canada’s ban on captive whales and dolphins will not affect those already in captivity, meaning nearly 60 animals will likely live out their natural lives at Marineland and the Vancouver Aquarium. Picture: AP

PETA has used the news to issue a warning on Twitter to a certain US amusement park that many activists consider particularly exploitative: "HUGE NEWS! Canada just banned the captivity of dolphins and whales across the country. SeaWorld; you're next #EmptyTheTanks"

However, Canada's ban on captive whales and dolphins will not affect those already in captivity, meaning nearly 60 animals will likely live out their natural lives at Marineland and the Vancouver Aquarium.

This article originally appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission



How to access program for aspiring Indigenous entrepreneurs

premium_icon How to access program for aspiring Indigenous entrepreneurs

Indigenous business owners and entrepreneurs take ideas next level.

Agricultural liquid fertiliser manufacturing shed proposed

premium_icon Agricultural liquid fertiliser manufacturing shed proposed

The facility would be built at an industrial area in the middle of town

CQ’s top cakemaker reveals recipe for success

premium_icon CQ’s top cakemaker reveals recipe for success

Wendy Bell can spend up to 10 hours decorating her amazing creations.