TORONTO – The Ontario government will look into setting up provincial standards for the care of animals in zoos and aquariums in the wake of complaints about the treatment of sea mammals at Marineland in Niagara Falls, Ont.
Ontario’s Community Safety Minister Madeleine Meilleur, who oversees animal-protection legislation, said Wednesday she will consider licensing zoos and aquariums and will toughen enforcement action by the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Marineland issued a statement Wednesday saying it is “fully supportive of the development of standards of care for all animals and the requirement for a provincial permit that would be based on inspections by professionals.”
Former Marineland trainer Phil Demers, whose allegations about poor conditions at the aquarium prompted inspections there this summer, suggested that Meilleur’s announcement didn’t fully address animal protection problems. He said he plans to consult with government officials to “enact some species-specific law.”