Canada’s parliament starts the week right by approving the bill of banning the capture and breeding of whales, dolphins and other cetaceans on Monday.

The bill was first proposed by animal rights activists in 2015, and it is now awaiting approval, but will not apply retroactively, which means captive marine mammals will have to stay confined. Marine animals that are injured and need to undergo rehabilitation will also need to stay in confinement, until authorities give them a green card to be freed and sent back into their natural habitats.

(Unsplash/Andrew Bain)

“This is such an important law because it bans breeding, making sure the whales and dolphins currently kept in tiny tanks in Canada are the last generation to suffer,” Melissa Matlow, campaign director for World Animal Protection Canada, said in a statement. “We hope that other countries will now follow Canada’s lead and that travel companies will also realize the declining acceptance for these types of attractions.”

Nina Devries, the spokesman for the animal rights group, added that Canada is now one of the 11 countries who stopped supporting the keeping and breeding of whales, dolphins, and porpoises for entertainment.

Costa Rica and Chile are one of the countries who also banned capture and breeding of the marine animals, following several backlashes against theme parks that showcase whales and dolphins.

(Unsplash/Wynand Uys)

Just last year, Thomas Cook, a British tour operator also announced plans to stop selling trips to animal parks that showcase and keep captive killer whales.

Currently, Marineland in Niagara Falls and the Vancouver Aquarium are the only facilities in Canada that keeps whales and dolphins in captivity.

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