Tell Marineland and AAA to Stop Supporting Cetacean Cruelty!

Tell Marineland and AAA to Stop Supporting Cetacean Cruelty!

This alert is no longer active, but here for reference. Animals still need your help.

If Marineland is good at one thing, it's stirring up controversy. The facility, located in Ontario, Canada, has wrongly accused an animal rights organization of “exploiting” children – and used this accusation to oppose a Canadian cetacean anti-captivity bill! While most people would find this alarming, it seems to be just business as usual for Marineland and its supporters, such as the New York branch of the American Automobile Association (AAA), which continues to offer discounted tickets to this unethical place. We must demand Marineland behave more ethically and AAA stop supporting this abusive facility.

Marineland, which secured the number 2 spot on In Defense of Animal’s 10 Worst Tanks list, has reason to act as though it is threatened. The facility is embroiled in a lawsuit that alleges 11 counts of cruelty perpetrated against the numerous animals being held captive there.

However,  it's becoming more and more apparent that perhaps the biggest threat that Marineland faces is the increasing public compassion towards captive cetaceans, of which there are many at the facility (around 50 beluga whales, several dolphins and one solitary orca). This compassion is what gave rise to Bill 203, which aims to ban cetacean captivity throughout Canada. The bill is currently in hearings in the Canadian Senate, and would help put a permanent end to the abuse of cetaceans throughout the nation.

Earlier this month, the Senate Committee was accepting comment submissions on the bill. A Canadian group called Ontario Captive Animal Watch (OCAW), which supports the bill, posted a request on its Facebook page, asking its supporters with children to collect quotes from them regarding what "their thoughts and feelings were about seeing these animals in tanks and whether or not they learned anything while they were there." OCAW planned to include these quotes within its submission to the Senate.

Marineland condemned the group, claiming that it was using children as “political pawns.”OCAW President Carly Ferguson correctly pointed out that Marineland’s entire business model does precisely this, by “exploiting and exhibiting [cetaceans] for profit and claiming that in doing so, it educates children about them.”

Marineland, and those who support its business by offering discounted tickets - like AAA in upstate New York, just across the border from Marineland – need to hear from you! Neither the ongoing abuse at Marineland, nor the throwing around of these kinds of accusations  should be condoned or supported. 

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