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Animal rights groups seek intervenor status in Vancouver Aquarium’s attempt to overturn cetacean ban

File photo. The Vancouver Park Board is trying to overturn the Vancouver Park Board's decision to ban cetaceans in captivity, and two animal rights groups have filed for intervenor status to try to stop it.
File photo. The Vancouver Park Board is trying to overturn the Vancouver Park Board's decision to ban cetaceans in captivity, and two animal rights groups have filed for intervenor status to try to stop it. Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press

Animal rights groups ‘Animal Justice’ and ‘Zoocheck’ have filed for intervenor status in the Vancouver Aquarium’s bid to overturn the Vancouver Park Board’s decision to ban cetaceans in captivity.

“The writing is on the wall for aquariums for zoos, aquariums and circuses, they are losing support and closing rapidly,” says Animal Justice Executive Director Camille Labchuck.

“The aquarium is claiming that confining cetaceans in tiny tanks is a form of expression that’s entitles to charter protection,” she adds.

READ MORE: Vancouver Aquarium sues Vancouver Park Board

Labchuk is taking issue with the argument, saying freedom of expression doesn’t include the right to confine intelligent animals in captivity.

“That’s a form of violent expression. And there’s very well established cases in Canada that say that freedom of expression ends when violence begins, and keeping whales and dolphins is violent.”

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The Vancouver Aquarium launched the legal challenge against the ban back in June.

In a statement to CKNW, the Vancouver Aquarium says it cannot comment on the matter further, as it is before the courts.

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