Connect with us

Animals

Canada Has Officially Banned Dolphin and Whale Captivity

Canada will no longer allow whales, dolphins and porpoises to be bred and held in captivity for the purpose of entertainment.

Elias Marat

Published

on

dolphin whale captivity canada
Like this article? Get the latest from The Mind Unleashed in your inbox. Sign up right here.

(TMU) — In a big win for animal rights advocates, Canada will no longer allow whales, dolphins and porpoises to be bred and held in captivity for the purpose of entertainment.

The Ending the Captivity of Whales and Dolphins Act, which was passed by Canada’s parliament on Monday, will ensure that cetaceans—or aquatic mammals—will no longer be subject to the trauma of confinement in aquatic entertainment parks, which animal rights activists have blasted as amounting to a system of animal cruelty.

The new law also prevents marine animals from being subject to captive breeding, the import-export market, live captures, and also outlaws the possession of reproductive matter.

However, the bill does include some notable exceptions while allowing for marine mammals who are already held to remain in captivity, including those who were rescued, are being rehabilitated from injuries, or are the subjects of limited scientific research. Aquariums, parks and zoos will be allowed to keep their captive performing cetaceans but can no longer replace them.

The bill, which was tabled by former Sen. Wilfred Moore of Nova Scotia in 2010, hailed the passage of the law in a statement from the Humane Society International/Canada. The former Liberal Party senator said:

“We have a moral obligation to phase out the capture and retention of animals for profit and entertainment. Canadians are calling upon us to do better—and we have listened.”

Animal rights defenders and marine scientists have also celebrated news of the bill’s passage, which they have endorsed through tweets under the hashtags #EmptyTheTanks and #FreeWilly.

Experts have argued that whales and dolphins face tremendous psychological and physical suffering while in captivity, including chronic health problems, abnormal behavior, prolonged isolation and extreme boredom, and high infant mortality.

The move brings Canada up to speed with a growing list of countries seeking an end to cetacean captivity. HSI/Canada executive director Rebecca Aldworth described the passage of the bill as a “watershed moment” in the protection of the sea creatures as a well as a victory for the people of Canada who want “a more humane country,” explaining:

“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.”

The two main facilities impacted by the law are Marineland in Niagara Falls and the Vancouver Aquarium. According to CBC, Marineland holds about 61 cetaceans in captivity, including “55 beluga whales, five bottlenose dolphins and one orca.”

While the park initially opposed the ban, Marineland conceded Monday in a statement that its operations have evolved since the park was founded in the 1960s and it would comply with the new legislation.

The Vancouver Aquarium had already bent to public opposition last year with its pledge to no longer hold cetaceans for entertainment purposes. At the time, only one dolphin was being held at the facility.

https://twitter.com/givinggecko/status/1138123176355852288

In a statement released Monday, Vancouver Park Board Chair Stuart Mackinnon said:

“The public told us they believed the continuing importation and display of these intelligent and sociable mammals was unethical and incompatible with evolving public opinion and we amended our bylaws accordingly.”

In 2016, U.S.-based SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment announced an end to breeding captive killer whales and pledged to shift its focus to marine mammal rescue operations instead. The company has SeaWorld Parks in California, Florida and Texas.

Almost 60 orcas are held in captivity worldwide at various parks and aquariums, with about a third of those orcas living in the U.S.—and all but one are captives at SeaWorld Parks in Orlando, San Diego, and San Antonio, National Geographic reports.

https://twitter.com/Dolphin_Project/status/1137903470093189122

Despite the company’s pledges, its main attractions include dolphin shows. The company’s vice president of animal health and welfare, Hendrik Nollens, has defended the shows, claiming that dolphins “are faster than us. They are stronger than us.” Nollens added:

“They are in charge. They choose … They decide whether to do the interaction or not.”

However, Canadian marine scientist Hal Whitehead, who backed the new law, argues:

“The living conditions for captive marine mammals cannot compare to their natural ocean environments in size, nor in quality.”

By Elias Marat | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

Animals

Idaho Senate Approves Bill to Kill 90 Percent of State’s Wolves in “Brutal War”

Elias Marat

Published

on

Like this article? Get the latest from The Mind Unleashed in your inbox. Sign up right here.

Idaho’s legislature is swiftly moving forward with a bill that critics say would sanction a “brutal war” on wolves whereby up to 90 percent of the current wolf population would be killed in a bid to protect the interests of the state’s ranchers.

On Wednesday, the Idaho senate passed the measure by a 26-7 vote. The bill will now move forward to the House chamber, reports Associated Press.

Since teetering at the brink of endangerment years ago, wolf populations were removed from the state endangered species list in 2011. Since then, they have thrived despite Idaho allowing hundreds to be killed by hunters, trappers and state measures to control their numbers. Over the past two years, the wolf population has held steady at about 1,500.

According to federal guidelines, wolf recovery numbers require about 150 wolves in the state.

Republican supporters of the bill said during senate debates that the wolf population has grown entirely out of control, endangering the numbers of deer and elk available to hunters and harming the state economy.

“We’re supposed to have 15 packs, 150 wolves. We’re up to 1,553, was the last count, 1,556, something like that. They’re destroying ranchers. They’re destroying wildlife. This is a needed bill,” said Republican state Sen. Mark Harris. 

However, critics have blasted the move as rash and potentially damaging to the state’s wildlife.

The Idaho Senate’s sudden move to pass this bill in the eleventh hour incentivizes the cruel deaths of more than 1,000 wolves across the state,” said Andrea Zaccardi, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. 

“This brutal war on wolves must be stopped, and we urge the House to deny this bill,” Zaccardi added.

Maggie Howell, the head of the Wolf Conservation Center, also described the move as the latest in a hostile and extreme campaign against wolves that fails to take into account the creatures’ value to the local ecology.

“Beyond the wanton cruelty and devastation the passage of this bill would bring to wolves, this legislation poses a threat to wolves nationwide,” she told the New York Times. “With the Trump administration’s decision to transfer wolf management authority from the federal government to the states, Idaho’s policies can influence expectations about wildlife management beyond its borders.”

Continue Reading

Animals

As Marine Life Flees the Equator, Global Mass Extinction is Imminent: Scientists

Elias Marat

Published

on

Like this article? Get the latest from The Mind Unleashed in your inbox. Sign up right here.

The waters surrounding the equator are one of the most biodiverse areas in the globe, with the tropical area rich in marine life including rare sea turtles, whale sharks, manta rays, and other creatures.

However, rampant rises in temperate have led to a mass exodus of marine species from the sensitive region – with grave implications for life on earth.

While ecologists have long seen the thriving biodiversity of equatorial species holding constant in the past few centuries, a new study by Australian researchers published in The Conversation has found that warming global temperatures are now hitting the equator hard, potentially leading to an unprecedented mass extinction event.

The researchers from the Universities of Auckland, Queensland, and the Sunshine Coast found that as waters surrounding the equator continue to heat up, the ecosystem is being disrupted and forcing species to flee toward the cooler water of the South and North Pole.

The massive changes in marine ecosystems that this entails will have a grave impact not only on ocean life – essentially becoming invasive species in their new homes –  but also on the human livelihoods that depend on it.

“When the same thing happened 252 million years ago, 90 percent of all marine species died,” the researchers wrote.

To see where marine life is headed, the researchers tracked the distribution of about 49,000 different species to see what their trajectory was. The global distribution of ocean life typically resembles a bell curve, with far fewer species near the poles and more near the equator.

However, the vast alteration of the curve is already in motion as creatures flee to the poles, according to a study they published in the journal PNAS.

These changes augur major disruptions to global ecosystem as marine life scrambles in a chaotic fight for food, space, and resources – with a mass die-off and extinction of creatures likely resulting.

The research underscores the dire need for human societies to control rampant climate change before the biodiversity and ecological health of the planet is pushed past the point of no return.

Continue Reading

Animals

Rare Creature Photographed Alive In The Wild For The First Time Ever

Elias Marat

Published

on

Like this article? Get the latest from The Mind Unleashed in your inbox. Sign up right here.

Advances in the methods used by researchers to watch wildlife have allowed for the photographing of a rare creature whose image had never been captured in the wild before.

Researchers in the West African nation of Togo were able to spot the rare Walter’s duiker, a rare species of petite African antelope, for the first time in the wild thanks to camera traps equipped with motion sensors.

In addition to the Walter’s duiker, the camera traps were also able to discover rare species of aardvarks and a mongoose, reports Gizmodo.

At a time when the extinction of entire species is becoming more common worldwide, such devices should help conservationists not only preserve creatures sought by bushmeat hunters but also spot rare animals whose presence is elusive for human observers. In the past, biologists were forced to rely on the same hunters for information.

“Camera traps are a game changer when it comes to biodiversity survey fieldwork,” said University of Oxford wildlife biologist Neil D’Cruze.

“I’ve spent weeks roughing it in tropical forests seemingly devoid of any large mammal species,” D’Cruze continued. “Yet when you fire up the laptop and stick in the memory card from camera traps that have been sitting there patiently during the entire trip—and see species that were there with you the entire time —it’s like being given a glimpse into a parallel world.”

The Walter’s duiker was discovered in 2010 when specimens of bushmeat were compared to other duiker specimens. The new images of the creature are the first to have been seen.

Rare species like Walter’s duiker are often not listed as “endangered” by groups like the International Union for Conservation of Nature due to a lack of data.

Continue Reading

Trending