The BC SPCA applauds the Vancouver Park Board Commission, whose commissioners voted unanimously in favour of a motion to amend bylaws “to prohibit the importation and display” of live cetaceans — porpoises, whales or dolphins — at the Vancouver Aquarium.
“We are thrilled with this unanimous vote,” says BC SPCA chief scientific officer Dr. Sara Dubois, noting the BC SPCA made bylaw recommendations in April of 2014 to take steps toward the phasing out of cetacean programs at the Vancouver Aquarium.
A phase-out is required to address the growing concerns being raised by members of the public and the scientific community against the keeping of captive cetaceans. Dubois emphasizes that “research and rehabilitation activities can and should continue, as breeding and public display have never been needed to carry out these activities.”
Further, “The BC SPCA is opposed to the capture, confinement and breeding of marine mammals for entertainment or educational display and this vote is very encouraging.” The BC SPCA sent a letter (PDF) to the Park Board today thanking them for their brave and compassionate votes that will advance both science and ethical conversations on the issue.
The amendments could be enacted as soon as May 15, once Park Board staff report back.
Read the BC SPCA’s position on zoos and aquariums online.
The BC SPCA also strongly supports Bill S-203 which passed Second Reading in the Senate and is currently undergoing hearings with the Standing Senate Committee Fisheries & Oceans. This would end the live importation of cetaceans into Canada and require captive breeding be ended.