Canada bans captivity of whales and dolphins

In a first, Canada has voted in favour of federal animal protection laws in Parliament.

With a majority vote, Canada has adopted the Bill S-203 which prohibits keeping, breeding and importing marine mammals from the cetacean family, including whales, dolphins and porpoises, for entertainment or for any other reason other than rescue and rehabilitation.

Violations are punishable by fines of up to 200,000 Canadian dollars (about $150,000). Animal rights activists who have long fought for this legislation to come to effect celebrated the move.

However, there are some exceptions. Marine mammals which are already in captivity will be allowed to remain so. Moreover, the animals can be kept during rehabilitation from injury or for the purposes of licensed scientific research, reported NPR.

“Nothing fantastic ever happens in a hurry. But today we celebrate that we have ended the captivity and breeding of whales and dolphins,” Humane Canada tweeted.

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