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Vancouver Aquarium Forced to Give Up On Whale & Dolphin Captivity

Animal Justice January 18, 2018

VANCOUVER – The Vancouver Aquarium announced today that it would give up on its decades-long fight to continue to imprison and display whales and dolphins in tiny tanks.

Camille Labchuk, a lawyer and executive director of Animal Justice, issued the following statement.

“The Vancouver Aquarium appears to have finally accepted that whale and dolphin captivity is no longer socially acceptable in Canada. Today’s announcement is a tremendous victory for the thousands of compassionate citizens who stood up against the cruel practice of keeping smart, sentient whales and dolphins imprisoned in tiny tanks.

“But the Aquarium’s new position comes extremely late in the game. For decades, the Aquarium has fought tooth and nail against attempts to restrict or prohibit whale and dolphin captivity at its facility. The Aquarium is now backing down from this fight, but only after years of being the target of protests, being embroiled in lawsuits, and hit with a ban on cetacean captivity imposed by Vancouver’s Park Board.

“The writing is on the wall for the whale and dolphin captivity industry. We are relieved that no more cetaceans will suffer and die at the Aquarium.”

The Aquarium recently lost a court case seeking to silence filmmaker Gary Charbonneau and his critical documentary Vancouver Aquarium Uncovered.

The Aquarium is still suing the Park Board in an attempt to overturn the anti-captivity by-law, claiming it restricts the Aquarium’s freedom of expression. Animal Justice intervened in that case, which has already been heard. The judge in that case is expected to issue a ruling shortly.

A bill moving through the Canadian Senate would impose a nation-wide ban on keeping whales and dolphins in captivity. It is expected to be voted on when Parliament resumes later this month.

Meanwhile, several whales and dolphins recently died at the Aquarium, including beluga whales Qila and Aurora in late 2016, porpoise Daisy in June, 2017, and false killer whale Chester in November, 2017. The only surviving cetacean at the Aquarium is a Pacific white-sided dolphin named Helen.

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For more information, contact:

Camille Labchuk
Executive Director
camille@animaljustice.ca

 

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B.C. Wants to Let Hunters Chase Terrified Cougars With Dogs

Animal Justice January 17, 2018

British Columbia was in the news late last year for the incredible move to ban grizzly bear hunting province-wide. But the province is still no paradise for other animals. The B.C. government is quietly preparing to weaken a long list of hunting and trapping regulations, leaving cougars, wolves, black bears, and other wild animals exposed to hunters’ bullets and the cruel snap of a fur trap.

B.C. officials may hope that compassionate people will be too distracted by the grizzly hunting ban to notice that many other animals will suffer and die as a result of these disturbing regulatory changes. Not on our watch. Animal Justice has compiled a list of the regulations that are set to be gutted, and now you have an opportunity to comment on them before January 19.

Here’s a list of the disturbing changes:

  • Extending the wolf trapping season on Vancouver Island, even though officials acknowledge they do not have solid evidence to indicate the health of wolf populations.
  • Allowing hunters to chase cougars with dogs in the Okanagan Region after they have reached their cougar bag limit. The stated rationale for this is to allow hunters to train and exercise hunting dogs.
  • Doubling the number of cougars who can be gunned down in the Peace Region, from one to two.
  • Extending the spring black bear hunt in the Peace Region by two extra weeks.
  • Allowing increased, year-round deer hunting on some parts of Vancouver Island, as well as increased elk hunting.
  • Allowing turkey hunting on Vancouver Island and the Kootenay Region. Turkey hunting is not currently permitted.
  • Allowing hunting, without a permit, on Mayne Island.
  • Extending the season for killing elk near Kamloops—from 10 days to 50 days.
  • Allowing hunting in Silver Star Provincial Park, north of Kelowna. Currently, no hunting is permitted in the park.
  • Extending the deer hunting on Saltspring and Gabriola Islands, from 10 days to 90 days.
  • Creating a new mountain goat hunting season near Sleeping Chief Mountain.
  • Removing a hunting ban on certain public lands in the Peace Region.
  • Creating a new elk hunting season near Lower Cowichan.
  • Allowing rocky mountain elk hunting in the Skeena Region.
  • Allowing mountain elk hunting in the Perkins Peak and Cherry Creek areas.
  • Expanding bighorn sheep hunting around Taseko Lakes.
  • Allowing snowmobiles and ATVs to be used to hunt cougars, bears, and wolves in South Chilcotin.
  • Allowing mountain goat hunting near Nahatlach River Provincial Park.

The government is accepting comments on the proposals until January 19. Here’s how to have your say:

  1. Visit the Hunting/Trapping Regulation website, and select “Login” at the top to register for your own BCeID account. (Tip: Choose the Basic BCeID option.)
  2. Follow the links above to leave your comments on the proposed new regulations. Let the government know that you oppose increased hunting and trapping, hunting in provincial parks, and harassing cougars with dogs.
  3. Email your B.C. MLA and politely ask them to speak up against increased hunting and harassment of wild animals.

When the B.C. government ended the grizzly bear hunt, they stated that gunning down innocent grizzlies was no longer socially acceptable. We agree. It’s also not socially acceptable to kill and chase cougars; trap wolves; allow a spring bear hunt; gun down goats, elks, turkeys, and sheep; and hunt in provincial parks. Please take action before it’s too late to protect these vulnerable animals from a brutal death at the hands of hunters and trappers.

 

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Animals Must Have Access to Shelter, Says Animal Rights Lawyer 

Animal Justice December 19, 2017

TORBAY, NL—No enforcement action will be taken after a lone cow was witnessed tied up beside a house during a winter storm without shelter, water, and food. According to the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC), the owner had been delayed getting home due to “circumstances beyond his control” and he “took measures to provide adequate shelter upon his return.” The RNC concluded that no laws had been broken.

Lawyer Anna Pippus, director of farmed animal advocacy for Animal Justice, said: “Newfoundland law protects animals from neglect. It’s troubling that the RNC is communicating to the public that it’s legal to keep animals tied up in extreme weather with no shelter, food, or water. It isn’t. Even cows habituated to the cold require appropriate shelter from wind, extreme cold, and snow or other precipitation, and must have access to appropriate food and water. Anyone with animals under their care is legally required to ensure minimum standards are met at all times, including during personal delays. The RNC’s assertion that ‘adequate shelter’ was ‘later’ provided belies the truth: the cow’s shelter that stormy afternoon was inadequate.”

According to Rescue NL’s Facebook page, three severely neglected horses were observed on this same farm last spring.

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The original Facebook post showing the cow in a blizzard can be found here.

Contact:
Anna Pippus
Director of Farmed Animal Advocacy
apippus@animaljustice.ca

 

 

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