— from Washington Post —
Canada has banned the practice of keeping dolphins, whales and porpoises in captivity after a long-fought-for piece of legislation passed resoundingly Monday.
The Ending the Captivity of Whales and Dolphins Act, which Canadian media nicknamed the “Free Willy” bill, outlaws captivity, breeding, trade, possession and capture of cetaceans.
The measure, which was first introduced in 2015, passed by a wide margin in the House of Commons on Monday, had been championed by animal rights groups such as Humane Society International, Animal Justice and the Whale Sanctuary Project. It was passed previously by the country’s Senate.
“The passage of Bill S-203 is a watershed moment in the protection of marine animals and a victory for all Canadians,” Rebecca Aldworth, the executive director of Humane Society International/Canada, said in a statement. “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.”