April 27, 2017
Vancouver – The Vancouver Humane Society (VHS) is questioning claims by the Vancouver Aquarium that its marine mammal rescue program is threatened by a ban on cetacean display at the aquarium. The Vancouver Park Board voted in March to amend a bylaw to ban the display of cetaceans at the aquarium.
VHS points out that other major wildlife rehabilitation facilities in British Columbia do not put rescued animals on public display, despite dealing with many more rescues than the aquarium.
“Wildlife rehabilitation is not about rescuing animals to put them on display,” said VHS spokesperson Peter Fricker. “The mandate is to rehabilitate and release animals.” He said the aquarium’s current non-releasable rescued animals do not need to be on display to meet their welfare needs.
VHS argues that the aquarium should seek to work with the Whale Sanctuary Project, which is proposing to establish sea-pen sanctuaries for former captive cetaceans and non-releasable rescued cetaceans.