Stunning Speech by Senator Shows Opposition to Captivity Growing

Stunning Speech by Senator Shows Opposition to Captivity Growing

Support is steadily increasing for Bill S-203, a remarkable piece of legislation that would officially phase out the captivity of whales, dolphins and porpoises throughout the entire nation of Canada.

On May 29, Senator Murray Sinclair gave a speech to the Senate in support of the bill, which was first introduced in 2015. His words reflect the opinions of thousands of Canadians and people around the world, who are coming to understand that it is cruel to keep cetaceans captive. 

Sinclair made it clear that this bill “builds on the trend” toward seeing dolphins and whales sent to seaside sanctuaries and taken out of captivity – something that makes the Mississippi Aquarium, which plans on building brand-new dolphin tanks, increasingly out-of-touch.

We asked our supporters to call and email your support of the bill, and so far, over 10,000 of you have done so, which we are so grateful for. The Senator emphasized the role of such public support in getting this bill as far as it has come by saying, “I would like to acknowledge and thank all of those people who took time to write us and sound their support for this bill…And let me assure them we have heard their voices. You have made a critical difference in moving Bill S-203 forward and this bill belongs to all of its supporters.”

The bill has yet to be put to a final vote, so it isn’t too late to call and email if you haven’t done so already.

Below are some notable quotes, and you can watch the whole speech by clicking here.


“How would you feel if you had to live the rest of your life in a bathtub? I think we are sympathetic enough to imagine what that must be like.”

“With (this bill) I hope the calves born in captivity this year will be the last captive cetaceans born in Canada.”

“We were told that, in order to subdue and control cetaceous behaviour, it is a standard practice in the aquarium industry to use starvation methods and inappropriate or excessive amounts of drugs, such as Diazepam, commonly known as Valium, on these animals.”

“Cetaceans possess intelligence, emotions, social lives that include extremely close bonds to their families, complex communication skills and roaming lifestyles…It is because of these characteristics that cetaceans are the least suitable of all creatures for captivity.”


“[T]he bottom line is let’s not forget the creatures living in the concrete tanks and let’s not forget the wild cetaceans who may yet face violent capture from their family groups for the purpose of display for human entertainment.”

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