Criminal charges have been laid against Marineland, Canada.
In October 2020, Niagara (Falls) Regional Police launched an investigation regarding allegations over the mistreatment of dolphins and other cetaceans at the park. Today (December 13), it was confirmed to CTV News Toronto that in violation of the Criminal Code of Canada, they have placed one charge of using a captive cetacean for performance for entertainment purposes without authorization against the facility.
In 2019, the passing of Bill S-203: Ending the Captivity of Whales and Dolphins Act made it illegal under the criminal code to use the mammals for entertainment performances.
The facility has been cited many times, resulting in several cruelty charges (five counts of animal cruelty by the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in 2016, and another six counts of cruelty by the same agency in 2017).
Recent footage showing Kiska floating listlessly in her tank has activists across the world calling for her immediate retirement. Since 2011, she has been held in solitary confinement. While Bill S-203 prohibits breeding, imports, exports and live captures of whales, dolphins and porpoises across Canada, the dolphins (including Kiska) at Marineland and at the Vancouver Aquarium were exempted from this law.
For many years, Dolphin Project has supported local grassroots activists in their efforts to bring awareness to the goings-on at the park, including attending several demonstrations at the facility.
Bottlenose dolphins await instructions from their trainer, Marineland, Canada. Credit: Cynthia Fernandez/DolphinProject.com
Marineland is scheduled to appear at the Robert S.K. Welch Courthouse in St. Catharines, Ontario on February 14, 2022 to answer to the charge.
Featured image: Kiska, Marineland, Niagara Falls. Credit: DolphinProject.com