Dozens of international animal rights groups are renewing pressure on the Vancouver Aquarium’s cetacean program.
They’ve written the Park Board to block the import of any more belugas, whales, or dolphins.
It’s been two weeks since the Vancouver Aquarium’s last pair of belugas died – now three dozen animal welfare groups have written the Vancouver Park Board calling for them to be the last to live there.
That includes its six on loan to the U.S., who Katherine Hanley with the Earth Island Institute says they want ultimately retired.
“Moved to sea pens or something else. But right now, our goal is to get the Vancouver Park board to not agree to take them back to Vancouver.”
The letter says the recent deaths highlight the facility’s inability to keep cetaceans safely or ethically.
Vancouver’s Park Board Chair is calling for a referendum on captive whales and dolphins.
“We cannot as human beings keep these animals safe in these facilities, it is not possible. We can’t keep the babies alive, now we can’t keep the adults alive either. And this is not a good signal to be sending to the general public.”
The Vancouver Aquarium does not accept cetaceans captured from the wild – and maintains its program is ethical, and for rescue and research.
A representative could not be reached for comment.