A 125-page report led by biologist David Rosen of the University of British Columbia finds the current standards of care in regards to "the most humane treatment" of captive marine mammals to be "insufficient." In fact, the report states that there are no additional provisions protecting these creatures other than the provincial Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, which applies to all animals.
In response, a provincial-wide ban on the acquiring and breeding of orcas is included in the report.
The overhaul will also introduce new standards of care for whales, dolphins, walruses, seals, and other marine animals in Ontario. Provisions include changes to noise levels, pool sizes, water quality, and appropriate social interactions with other animals.
Ontario government officials believe stronger protections of captive mammals are imperative. "This is something that Ontarians expect and these animals deserve,” Community Safety Minister Yasir Naqvi, who announced the ban, told The Toronto Star. "[It's] the right thing to do."