POLITICS

Ontario passes killer whale ban and other animal protection measures

05/28/2015 03:02 EDT | Updated 05/28/2016 05:59 EDT
TORONTO - Ontario has passed a bill that prohibits the breeding and acquisition of killer whales as well as other animal protection rules.

The bill, named the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, also includes rules that require animal welfare committees at any facility that has marine mammals.

The bill also includes a requirement for marine parks — there is only one in Ontario — to have qualified veterinarians with marine mammal expertise to oversee preventive and clinical care.

Yasir Naqvi, the minister of community safety and correctional services, says banning the breeding and acquisition of killer whales is something Ontarians expect and the animals deserve.

Kiska, the lone killer whale in Canada that lives at Marineland, a tourist park in Niagara Falls, Ont., is excluded from the bill.

The province says it is also working on developing standards of care for marine mammals as laid out in a report by a University of British Columbia marine biologist.