A large female tiger shark circles a group of divers at a popular dive-tourism site in the Bahamas known as Tiger Beach. Researchers at the University of British Columbia's Fisheries Centre say protecting sharks would lead to a big economic payoff. (Jim Abernethy/University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science )

Canada poised to pass two historic animal rights bills

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It’s been a hard–sometimes disheartening–slog for Canadian animal activists, but they are about to have a very, very good spring.

And so are the animals the activists have long sought to protect and nurture.

Hundreds of sharks were seized from a Taiwanese fishing vessel in Palau in August 2011. (Associated Press/Micronesian Shark Foundation )

Two historic bills are about to pass in Canada’s Parliament.

One bans the importation of shark fins into this country; the other bans keeping whales and dolphins in captivity.

Shark fins are seen during their drying process at Kalibaru district in Jakarta, Indonesia. The federal Liberal government is backing a move to ban shark fin imports. (Beawiharta/Reuters)

It was the shark fin ban that came across the wires overnight.

Canada banned finning in territorial waters in 1994 but never banned their import.

One type of shark fin soup, a status symbol in Asian communities. A single bowl can cost around $100 in N. America. (Kin Cheung/The Associated Press)

It is currently the third largest importer of shark fins outside Asia, trailing only China and Hong Kong.

Last year, Canada imported over 148,000 kilograms of shark fins, worth an estimated $3.2 million.

Qila, a beluga whale at the Vancouver Aquarium, receives a freshly prepared herring from trainer Katie Becker. A bill to ban whale and dolphin captivity in Canada has passed the Commons fisheries committee and is set for a final debate and vote. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

In 2018 world-wide, 73 million sharks were slaughtered.

The global population of sharks is now depleted by 90 per cent.

Camille Labchuk is executive director of Animal Justice. (Courtesy: Animal Justice)

But a hard-earned victory for those who love animals appears to be at hand.

The politics have been rough-and-tumble and activists had more than their share of disappointments, but Camille Labchuk, executive director of Animal Justice, is smiling a lot these days.

I spoke with her by phone Wednesday at her office in Ottawa.

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2 comments on “Canada poised to pass two historic animal rights bills
  1. Avatar Carolyn Peck says:

    Fantastic news. Thanks for the long held commitment for animals and reporting!