Time for celebration!

Canada’s House of Commons has finally passed a bill which criminalizes the captive holding of whales, dolphins and porpoises.

Known as Bill S-203 or “Free Willy”, it will finally end the captivity of whales as dolphins, passing the 3rd reading stage roughly 3 years after first being introduced.

The CBC has noted that the ban will in effect put a halt to the breeding and keeping of aquatic mammals with a massive fine of up to $150,000.

The same bill will restrict import and export related to these mammals and additionally place a hold on mammals performing for entertainment.

The Green Party of Canada celebrated in a statement Monday. 

“These intelligent, social mammals will now get to live where they belong – in the ocean,” the party said.

The bill doe however allow a bit of leniency when it comes to rescued animals facing rehabilitation and offers licencing for research, where he animal’s best interest would supersede anything else.

It is outlined that:

“A person may move a live cetacean from its immediate vicinity when the cetacean is injured or in distress and is in need of assistance.”

The Executive Director for the Humane Society of Canada, Rebecca Aldworth has stated that:

“The passage of Bill S-203 is a watershed moment in the protection of marine animals and a victory for all Canadians.

“Whales and dolphins don’t belong in tanks, and the inherent suffering these highly social and intelligent animals endure in intensive confinement can no longer be tolerated.

“We congratulate the sponsors of this bill and the Canadian government for showing strong leadership in responding to public will and sound science on this critical issue.”

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