TORONTO – Animal Justice has filed a legal complaint over dolphin performances taking place at Marineland in Niagara Falls, Ontario.
It has been a criminal offence since 2019 to use whales and dolphins in performances for entertainment, yet Marineland continues to use dolphins in daily shows that it describes as “educational presentations”, and has also used belugas for performances since the new law came into effect.
The dolphin shows at Marineland feature a pop music soundtrack, trainers announcing a “dolphin dance party”, and dolphins performing tricks like jumping out of the water, spinning in the air, and pushing trainers through the water. Spectators are encouraged by staff to cheer on the tricks.
“Authorities must step in to investigate whether Marineland’s dolphin performances violate federal laws protecting dolphins from being forced to participate in demeaning performances,” said lawyer Camille Labchuk, executive director of Animal Justice.
Marineland has also received international criticism following the release of videos showing Kiska, the lone orca at Marineland, in apparent distress. In the videos, Kiska floats listlessly in her pool, and violently slams her head against the side of her tank. Animal Justice previously filed a complaint over Kiska’s conditions, as it is illegal under federal and provincial law to cause psychological distress and suffering to an animal.
Marineland closes for the season on October 10. Yesterday, BlogTO reported that there are rumours Marineland is for sale for real estate development, and may not reopen.