Target: Government of Ontario, Canada
Goal: Offer more protection for captive animals
Former professional dolphin trainer and current animal activist, Ric O’Barry, recently stated that countries like Guatemala, Brazil, and Haiti are ahead of Canada in terms of protection laws for marine mammals, and Canadian locals are starting to complain about it. The activist has spearheaded a gentle protest that attempts to push the Canadian government to employ protection for its marine animals in captivity.
O’Barry started his campaign against animal cruelty after the death of Kathy, a captive and trained dolphin used in the celebrated television show, “Flipper.” Even in well-protected environments, captive marine animals are at constant risk. Recreating a sea environment is a complex task that requires significantly more regulations than a non-marine habitat.
Water levels, pressures, and cleanliness must be perfect at all times, and in addition to this, animals must be inspected consistently for health. Many claim that aquatic zoos have failed to meet the standards necessary to properly care for these creatures.
One particular problem is the lenient and sloppy lack of regulation that allows basically anyone to obtain animals and “set up a zoo in their backyard,” claims Rob Laidlaw, executive director of Zoocheck Canada. The goal of the protest is to urge governors of Ontario to create laws that will protect marine animals from subpar living environments and other forms of cruelty, such as starvation and mishandling.
Former employees of marine zoos in the area have stepped forward as witnesses of improper animal care and support the call for an effective policy. Some policies have been put forth and are undergoing examination by community safety ministers. At present, they will not inspect any animal that is under the direct care of a licensed veterinarian, but will consider the investigations of aquatic zoos.
Marine cruelty has proven to be a difficult issue to tackle, but protests such as this one are steps in the right direction. Tell Ontario’s government to increase protection for marine life and end the suffering that many animals endure at the hands of inexperienced or insensible trainers.
Dear Government of Ontario,
Recently, many have protested against the lax regulations that currently plague Canada. This ignorance allows people who are untrained in animal handling and uneducated in animal care to obtain animals and, in the words of Rod Laidlaw from Zoocheck Canada, “set up a zoo in their backyard.” It is unacceptable that a developed country like Canada does not invest its energy into protecting animals, especially marine life, when it has the capability to do so.
Please enact laws that protect these animals. It is no coincidence that many are speaking out against Canada’s policies concerning animal protection, as employees from aquatic zoos have witnessed the improper care of marine life and are now actively opposed to such mistreatment. This could be prevented in the future if your government decides to take a stand against cruelty and the improper care of these creatures. I urge you to take action immediately.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Marineland, Canada