Friday, August 17, 2012

Dear OSPCA: Thank you for the warning!

So, after the horrors revealed by the Star at that torture chamber for marine animals (and other species), Marineland, the OSPCA has decided (no doubt after a zillion phone calls)- maybe, just maybe, we need to actually INSPECT this place - this despite many groups over many years complaining to them about the conditions there!

So, do they go in quietly, unannounced - you know, to actually SEE the reality?
Nope, they give them NOTICE they're coming in there.
Marineland is privately owned by John Holer and licensed by the self-regulating Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
I also highly question some of the organizations involved that assert they've never had a complaint before.
Mallory says the Niagara Falls Humane Society has not received complaints about the care of sea mammals at Marineland.
I can't imagine I'm the ONLY one who complained to them; albeit my call came 25+ years ago; but conditions for these poor animals have clearly worsened, if anything, and I don't for one second believe I'm the only one who would walk in there and see immediately that the conditions are horrific for any animal.
As for CAZA, who ostensibly cleared Marineland and accredited them:
CAZA is the national voice of the zoo and aquarium community in Canada. Representing the 25 leading zoological parks and aquariums in Canada, its purpose is to promote the welfare of zoo and aquarium wildlife, to advance related science and conservation, and to foster public engagement in the preservation of our natural heritage.

CAZA was formed in 1975 as a national, not-for-profit service organization. Since that time it has played an invaluable role in bringing Canada’s zoos and aquariums to the forefront of international standards of animal care. It helps Canadians understand and appreciate the diversity of nature and its importance to their survival. It supports research to preserve threatened species and their habitat, works to preserve the genetic diversity of species and to minimize the live capture of animals. CAZA reaches out to educate youth, in cooperation with local school boards, it partners with governments and non-governmental organizations around the world in seeking to preserve wildlife. And it works to standardize professional conduct through a rigorous Code of Ethics and a comprehensive accreditation system.
Trying to figure out here who FUNDS them.  They apparently have the stamp of approval from the Canadian government according to their website. But then the Canadian government has a pretty poor batting average when it comes to the protection of animal rights, so I'm not entirely surprised.  But then, as "There is no government regulation in Canada or Ontario of marine mammal parks or, for that matter, of any animal park." it is moot - as that in reality means any kind of "pass" is based on questionable criteria.

If, in fact, CAZA did a proper inspection then the bar for their standards is clearly set FAR too low.

In the end, it all comes down to money.  The welfare of the animals, their health, their mental and spiritual well being are so far behind the requirement for them to act unnaturally for oblivious patrons it is enough to bring you to tears.

Call your MPPs - call the Ontario Community Safety Minister Madeleine Meilleur, who oversees the OSPCA and tell her (as Frank Klees aptly puts) to "save" her tears and mobilize action.
“The minister should turn her tears into action,” said Newmarket—Aurora Conservative MPP Frank Klees, who has pushed for action on animal abuse issues. “This is just one more example of the government abdicating responsibility in the area of animal welfare.”
Though not a fan usually of the PC's, MPP Frank Klees has walked the walk when it comes to animal welfare issues and not just talked the talk as does NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo who says it was “absolutely horrifying and scary” to see Star video and read the reports. She called the situation for animals in captivity “the wild west” and called on the province to regulate and oversee the treatment of marine mammals in Canada.

Finally, I was pleased to see my own local MPP, Lorenzo Berardinetti calling for a more “proactive” approach to conditions for animals in captivity, instead of the OSPCA’s complaint-based system.

He said that it’s worrisome in relation to whales and dolphins because “they’re extremely intelligent. They have self-awareness. If you put a mirror in front of them, (studies have shown) they recognize themselves.”
Now I want to see all these individuals - each representing one of our major parties - get together to fight for the rights of the animals of this province.

Ontario needs to WAKE up and start putting some serious legislation in governing how the animals of this province - domestic, farm and exotic - marine and non-marine - factory and NON- factory - are treated. 

And when CLEAR, unequivocal cases of animal abuse are revealed - as at Marineland this week - STOP dragging your damn feet and ACT. Those animals need help NOW. I don't want to see a committee struck, a task force assigned, - act NOW, act DECISIVELY AND QUICKLY. Get those animals some HELP

1 comment:

  1. As usual you get your point across beautifully. I am going to send this piece to each of the MPPs mentioned. Let's hope they pay attention this time.