New Minister must protect Belugas
TORONTO, Sept. 27, 2021 /CNW/ - Last Chance for Animals (LCA), an international animal rights organization, is pleased to see the defeat of Fisheries Minister, Bernadette Jordan.
Minister Jordan signed off on the controversial export of five beluga whales – Havok, Jetta, Kharabali, Havana and Sahara ("the Beluga Five") from Marineland to Mystic Aquarium. Shortly after the transfer, Havok died and only weeks later, Mystic Aquarium announced that Jetta was seriously ill.
This harmful transfer required the Beluga Five to be captured, hoisted by cranes, as well as transported by plane and trucks. It also severed the Beluga Five's social bonds with their family and friends and forced them to build new bonds with other belugas at Mystic Aquarium – a stressful process. End to end, the transfer took about 14 hours.
LCA strongly and clearly argued for the Minister to deny the export permit, warning her that the transfer would be traumatic and potentially fatal for the whales.
Exporting the Beluga Five out of Canada stripped them of the protections of the Ending the Captivity of Whales and Dolphins Act (Previously Bill S-203). The 2019 Act is aimed at phasing out the captivity of these majestic creatures and reflects positive steps by the Canadian government to recognize their intelligence as well as the harmful effects of captivity. The Act prohibits the breeding of whales, dolphins, and porpoises, using them in performances for entertainment purposes, and restricts importing and exporting. The United States does not have a similar law.
The export of the Beluga Five was a slap in the face to everyone who worked hard to pass the Ending the Captivity of Whales and Dolphins Act as it exported Canada's commitment to the Beluga Five.
LCA looks forward to the new Liberal Fisheries Minister and working with them to ensure that the Act's protections for whales, dolphins and porpoises are taken seriously.
"This Minister is responsible for the plight of these belugas. She made a horrible decision and she really needs to wear the responsibility for this transfer", said Chris DeRose, President and Founder of LCA "We want to work with the new Fisheries Minister to ensure the safety of the remaining beluga whales and prevent further transfers."
ABOUT LAST CHANCE FOR ANIMALS:
LCA is an international non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating animal exploitation through education, investigations, legislation, and public awareness campaigns. For more information, visit https://www.lcanimal.org/.
SOURCE Last Chance for Animals
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