The House of Commons in Canada passed the “Free Willy” Bill that will place a ban on holding a dolphin or a whale in captivity.
The Bill S-203 was passed by the House of Commons, it will place a ban on holding whales and dolphins in captivity. The bill is also known as the “Ending the Captivity of Whales and Dolphins Act” or “Free Willy” bill.
The bill was passed on Monday, three years after it was first introduced to the country.
The bill will disallow citizens of Canada to breed the mammals, and if anyone gets caught breeding them, they could pay up to CAD $200,000 for the fine.
The Free Willy bill will also stop importation and exportation of the aquatic mammals. The mammals will also be stopped from performing in entertainment shows.
During their celebration, the Green Party of Canada said, “These intelligent, social mammals will now get to live where they belong – in the ocean.”
According to CNN, the Free Willy Bill has exceptions in cases like rescues, rehabilitation, scientific research, or when it is being done for the best interest of the animals.
The law says, “A person may move a live cetacean from its immediate vicinity when the cetacean is injured or in distress and is in need of assistance.”
The Executive Director of Humane Society International/Canada, Rebecca Aldworth, said, “The passage of Bill S-203 is a watershed moment in the protection of marine animals and a victory for all Canadians.”
An honour to work with amazing group of people and NGO's. Thank you for this is a historic collaboration! Thank you to all the Humane Societies and SPCAs across Canada that come together to make up Humane Canada and have worked hard on this Bill for many years! pic.twitter.com/91WqjwP1gQ
— Humane Canada (@HumaneCanada) June 11, 2019
She added, “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.”
Rebecca also congratulated everyone, she said, “We congratulate the sponsors of this bill and the Canadian government for showing strong leadership in responding to public will and sound science on this critical issue.”