Bombshell news made headlines around the world Friday as Marineland in Niagara Falls Canada was formally charged by the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) with 5 counts of animal cruelty with more charges pending:
Many have been calling for charges against the park for years and it seems there has been some vindication for advocates now that Marineland will face criminal charges. Advocate Mike Garrett, currently being sued by Marineland for $1.5 million dollars released this statement:
"The very business model Marineland operates under is the exploitation and abuse of animals. However they have always claimed (falsely) to be 'the most inspected facility of it's kind anywhere' and that 'they treat their animals like family'. Well if this was the case and they knew they were under the microscope and still were found to be neglecting animals as what has happened here it just shows that Marineland does not take animal care seriously nor do they respect those who enforce animal care laws. This facility should have all their animals removed as soon as possible."
This could not have been a worse week for Marineland to make the news along with their industry partner Vancouver Aquarium, which saw 2 of their only captive Beluga whales within days of each other. Currently there is a bill making its way through the Canadian Senate which aims to phase out the captivity of cetaceans in Canada. The bill has passed second reading and is now currently being studied in committee. Marineland is currently closed for the season, a full schedule of demonstrations at the facility is planned for if they re-open.