Crown Withdraws Animal Cruelty Charges Against Marineland and Photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthur Discusses Animals in Captivity

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Animal Rights Lawyer Anna Pippus Weighs in on Crown’s Decision Regarding Marineland

In 2012, 15 former employees of Marineland Canada came public with their experiences of animal neglect and cruelty at the Niagara Falls facility. Most chose to be protected by anonymity for fear of legal reprisal, while others came right out in the open, namely Phil Demers, who has been extremely vocal in social media, TV and radio, a documentary film (Vancouver Aquarium Uncovered), and recently in the senate hearings on whales in captivity (Bill S-203). Marineland launched SLAPP suits targeting three whistleblowers, including Phil Demers (seen in the YouTube video below) who had left his employment there two years earlier.

Since these staff members departed, Marineland has continued to neglect and harm the animals in their care.  The OSPCA (Ontario Society For The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) filed 11 animal cruelty charges in November (2016) and January (2017) relating to elk, black bears, peacocks, and guinea hens. On Thursday of this week, 8 Charged were dropped because there was “no reasonable prospect of conviction” and 3 others because they “were not in the public’s interest to pursue.”

Animal Rights Lawyer, Anna Pippus of Animal Justice Canada offers her perspective on this disappointing outcome and provides insight on what we, as activists can do to help the animals in cases where they are imprisoned and exploited for entertainment.


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Former walrus trainer from Marineland, Phil Demers, speaking of his experience.


Photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthur on Captive Animals Around the Globe

Kiska, an orca whale, lives in solitary confinement at Marineland, Canada. 2011

Kiska, an orca whale, lives in solitary confinement at Marineland, Canada. 2011. Photo by Jo-Anne McArthur

World-renowned photojournalist, activist, author, and educator Jo-Anne McArthur has spent over a decade documenting the plight of animals from every continent in the world, and has had her thought-provoking work published in the National Geographic, Canadian Geographic, and Photolife along with countless other highly-esteemed publications.

Jo-Anne’s first book (published in 2013), entitled “We Animals,” contains haunting images of animals held captive and dominated by humans for food, clothing, entertainment and research, and her recent book “Captive” documents the lives of animals trapped in zoos and aquaria around the world.

Join us for a thought-provoking discussion about Jo-Anne’s crucial work, unlike anything you’ve seen before, and which has the power to transform hearts and minds into more compassionate, dedicated defenders of the most oppressed species on the planet.

Check out Jo-Anne’s work here.






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