TORONTO, May 12, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Last Chance for Animals (LCA), an international animal rights organization, is outraged that the Trudeau government has approved the export of 3 Beluga whales from Marineland into a new prison cell in the United States. LCA calls on the Federal Government to halt the transfer, rescind the permit and ensure all five whales: Sahara, Jetta, Kharabali, Havok, and Havana, will be protected from transfer.
Neither the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) nor Liberal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan has publicly issued a statement announcing that the export permit had been granted to Marineland Canada. Nor had Hon. Jordan or the DFO publicly confirmed they had filed for the export permit. Despite several opportunities from Hon. Jordan to make her stance known, the permit was issued in secrecy, out of public view and scrutiny. LCA condemns the complete lack of transparency in this process and is calling for the immediate public release of the export permit and supporting documentation.
Under the Ending the Captivity of Whales and Dolphins Act, which was passed in 2019, captive breeding and entertainment performances involving beluga whales are prohibited in Canada. The United States does not have a similar law, and although breeding and entertainment performances are prohibited under the import permit issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service, the permit expires in 5 years and leaves the whales vulnerable to breeding and being used in entertainment performances thereafter.
“The Hon. Bernadette Jordan and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans have undermined the public trust,” said Chris DeRose, Founder and President of Last Chance for Animals. “Transferring the whales outside of the protections of Canadian law is unacceptable; why is the Canadian Government not upholding the intention of the Ending the Captivity of Whales and Dolphins Act? This transfer is being rushed, carried out in complete secrecy, and is not in the best interest of the Belugas.”
Reports indicate that a team of staff from Mystic Aquarium are on site at Marineland preparing the whales for export to Mystic Aquarium and that the team was not tasked with mandatory 2-week COVID-19 quarantine restrictions, as typically required by the Canadian Government. According to Mystic Aquarium’s transport plan, the Beluga whales will be flown out of the Hamilton International Airport to Bradley International Airport in Hartford, CT.
ABOUT LAST CHANCE FOR ANIMALS:
LCA is an international non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating animal exploitation through education, investigations, legislation, and public awareness campaigns. Since its formation in 1984, LCA has succeeded as one of the nation’s pioneer animal advocacy groups. LCA’s educational and public outreach programs have empowered the public to make positive changes for animals in their communities. For more information, visit https://www.lcanimal.org/.
212-901-6914 ext 701
A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/3ba2f18a-578e-49da-816c-b5e265447908