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New PEI Laws Force Circus to Cancel Horse Performances

Animal Justice June 19, 2018

CHARLOTTETOWN—National animal law organization Animal Justice says that PEI’s tough new anti-circus laws have stopped a circus coming to Charlottetown this week from including animal acts.

Super Circus Spectacular is scheduled to do two shows at the Eastlink Centre on Thursday, June 21. According to a Facebook event listing for the Charlottetown tour stop, “energetic animals” were set to perform. When Charlottetown resident Hilary Wood messaged the circus to ask what animals they would bring, the circus responded that they would bring horses.

PEI cracked down on circus cruelty last year when the province passed the new Animal Welfare Act. Now, no exotic animals like elephants, bears, and tigers can be used. Only a small number of domestic animals like cats, dogs, horses, and some birds are still permitted, subject to strict conditions. Circuses must obtain a license 180 days in advance of a show, obtain extensive insurance coverage, and create and provide a detailed escape and recapture plan.

After complaints from Ms. Wood and Animal Justice, the provincial Department of Agriculture advised that Super Circus Spectacular does not have a circus license, and will not be allowed to engage in horse or other animal performances in Charlottetown this week.

“Forcing animals to perform for human entertainment is cruel, degrading, and incredibly outdated,” said Camille Labchuk, lawyer and executive director of Animal Justice. “Circuses around the world are closing down due to plummeting public interest, concerns over animal mistreatment, and the risk to public safety. PEI now has some of the toughest anti-circus legislation in the country, and this is our first chance to see it in action.”

Animal Justice will send inspectors to Super Circus Spectacular to ensure it does not attempt to include horses or other animals in its Charlottetown shows this week.

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For more information, contact:

Camille Labchuk
Executive Director
camille@animaljustice.ca

Animal Justice

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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 and Zoocheck 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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