Last month, Niagara Regional Police charged Marineland for using a captive cetacean for performance for entertainment purposes without authorization — a violation of Bill S-203.
The charge was laid after a police investigation in October. Marineland is scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 14.
In an issued statement, Marineland is anticipating the verdict to be not guilty: "Marineland of Canada Inc.'s educational presentation was designed by experts to provide Canadians with an accessible opportunity to learn about marine life. Our animal presentation contains marine mammals undertaking behaviours they exhibit in ocean environments."
Marineland's claim is laughable. Dolphin's do not dance for fish in the wild. Orca's do not spend their lives trapped in minuscule enclosures. The animals at Marineland are not able to express natural behaviours.
This latest investigation is only the tip of the iceberg for strikes against Marineland in 2021. In the summer, videos surfaced of the world's loneliest orca, Kiska, floating listlessly on the water and bashing her head against her aquarium walls. In the spring, Ontario Animal Welfare Services ordered Marineland to fix broken water systems that were producing unacceptable water quality for their captive marine animals. Marineland fought the order at first, before quietly withdrawing their appeal.
None of this is a surprise. Marineland's legacy is devoid of compassion for the animals jailed in their facility. Animals should not be exploited for profit or otherwise, and should be able to express natural behaviours — something that's impossible for whales, dolphins and other cetaceans in the crippling confines of an amusement park.
Voting with your wallet by not patronizing these cruel businesses is the best way to make a difference for the animals. Hopefully, these events are the death knell of a business that should have stopped years ago.