Saturday, April 25, 2015

Expect Us

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Marineland Animal Defense Ends Campaign Against Marineland

Marineland Animal Defense has decided to shut down their campaign of advocating for the end of animal captivity at Marineland. The small group of approximately 10 core individuals headed by 'co-founder' Dylan Powell has been around since 2011 and organized various demonstrations at the park and at park owner John Holer's personal residence. The group and more specifically Powell was hit with a $1.5 million dollar SLAPP lawsuit in 2012. M.A.D. has been the subject of many controversies since becoming one of the more vocal groups opposing Marineland in recent years.

The group, largely based in social media circles, posted various reasons for ending the campaign on their website including the following:

"we have reached a position where any further Provincial change is unlikely and where Federal change, like the full closure of the wild capture loophole, is currently off the table."

M.A.D. has cancelled a planned march through the city of Niagara Falls scheduled for next month and plans to close its various social media profiles.

Marineland activist Mike Garrett who himself is facing a $1.5 million dollar SLAPP lawsuit by Marineland commented on the end of M.A.D.'s campaign:

"While I have always fully supported Marineland Animal Defense's goals of ending animal captivity at Marineland we have vehemently disagreed on the strategies that should be used to see that those goals come to fruition. With the death of Marineland Animal Defense the time for infighting and division between activists is over. I have been guilty of it myself and wish to move past it. It only benefits Marineland and does nothing to further our cause. We are winning...things are changing. It's time to push forward, we are so close."

A demonstration without M.A.D.'s participation is planned for Marineland's Opening Day on May 16th.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Ontario MPP Cheri DiNovo Speaks Supporting Bill 80

Ontario MPP for Parkdale-High Park Cheri DiNovo has been one of the strongest political voices speaking on behalf of Marineland's animals and whistleblowers since 2012.  Here she is speaking again during recent debate on Bill 80 which is making its way through the Ontario legislature and if passed into law will effectively ban the acquisition and sale of orcas in the province.  The bill will also have provisions to heavily increase scrutiny over animal care at facilities like Marineland and hopefully improve their living conditions.  Still, Cheri makes it a point to speak about the last remaining orca at Marineland, Kiska and how she will not really benefit from being grandfathered into any new legislation.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Marineland 2015 Opening Day Demonstration Announced

The annual opening day demonstration at Marineland is set for May 16th 2015.  The family friendly event will begin out front of the facility at 11am.  Save the date and come out to support the end of marine mammal captivity at this infamous facility and #LetsMakeMarinelandHistory

The Facebook event page will feature up to date information about the demo so be sure to add yourself as an attendee to keep up with all the latest information and updates!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Orca Captivity to End in Ontario

The Ontario government announced on Tuesday a slew of upcoming regulations governing the care of marine mammals in the province including an outright ban on the sale and acquisition of orcas, effectively ending killer whale captivity at facilities such as Marineland.

The regulations will be based on a report drafted by Dr. David Rosen a marine mammal expert who was commissioned by the province's Minister of Community Safety looking to update Ontario's standards of care for marine mammals. The report contains recommendations on a wide variety of animal care issues including habitats, water quality, vet care, environments, public interactions, acceptable noise levels and other 'stressers' that captive marine mammals endure.

The Rosen report recommends creating an animal welfare committee at each facility, reporting to the administrator but operating independently. Responsibilities would include:

 Keeping an up-to-date provincial inventory of all animals that includes lineage, acquisitions, births and deaths, with causes when known.

 A written veterinary care program developed in collaboration with veterinary experts and including a protocol for preventative medicine.

 Ensuring the water supply is reliable and that chlorine levels and bacterial counts meet provincial standards, which will be detailed in a new marine mammal section in the OSPCA Act.

 Enforcement of proper noise restrictions and appropriate light levels.

 Regulations on the handling and display of marine mammals and provisions for social and environmental enrichment.

 Ensuring that “concerns over animal care raised by staff are addressed and properly recorded. This can be facilitated by a written and posted ‘whistle-blower’ policy.”

The government will be setting up an advisory committee featuring various stakeholders and has indicated they would like to see the new rules in place within 6 months.

Activist Mike Garrett applauded the new protections for marine mammals but considers it a first step.

"While this is certainly a historic first step in bringing in better care for marine mammals in this province I think there is more work to be done to effectively end marine mammal captivity here. It has been proven the majority of these animals do not do well in captivity and i'd like to see a complete ban on the sale and acquisition of all cetaceans, not just orcas."

In a statement issued late Tuesday Marineland questioned the orca ban.

“The acquisition of killer whales is governed by international treaties and legislation entered into by the federal government with which Marineland has always complied,” the company said.

Currently the import/export of wild caught cetaceans into Canada is regulated under CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). Under the conditions, Canada does currently not require an import permit to bring wild caught cetaceans into the country.

Marineland is closed for the season.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Meet June Mergl

Meet June Mergl,  Marineland's head veterinarian.  She's about to become a lot more famous in 2015.  Stay tuned...