Ontario Newsroom

Proposed Legislation to Strengthen Protection of Marine Mammals

Archived Backgrounder

Proposed Legislation to Strengthen Protection of Marine Mammals

Ministry of the Solicitor General

Ontario has introduced proposed amendments to the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

These proposed amendments:

  • Prohibit the possession or breeding of additional orcas in Ontario, effective immediately.
  • Introduce initial penalties of up to $60,000 and/or two years imprisonment upon first conviction of breaching the prohibitions.
  • Enable the government to prescribe administrative requirements regarding animal care plans and record keeping for entities that possess marine mammals.
Ontario has the strongest animal protection legislation in Canada, and will be the first jurisdiction to set specific standards of care for marine mammals, when these standards are introduced in summer 2015.

Enhanced standards of care
The new standards of care being developed for marine mammals in captivity would be among the best in the world, and would cover areas such as:
  • The size of enclosures used to house marine mammals
  • Environmental considerations such as water quality, noise and lighting
  • Social groupings
  • The handling and display of marine mammals