Dolphins and whales, like any other animal, deserve living where they can survive the best and in a healthy way. Narrow pools and cramped tanks are not exactly the places they suit in, given that they need space and company.

Luckily, Canada’s House of Commons just passed a bill to make it illegal to keep a dolphin, whale, or porpoise in captivity. If found doing so, the suspect will be fined up to $200,000 for parks and aquariums.

The bill is dubbed as “Free Willy” after a family movie from 1993, the new bill has shown rays of hopes to push animal rights legislation to a whole new level.

The bill also bans the trade of marine mammals in Canada, except when it is required for scientific research or for the “best interest“of the animal.

The legislation was introduced four years ago for the first time and was sponsored by retired Liberal senator Wilfred Moore.

Independent Senator Murray Sinclair made this statement before the Commons fisheries committee:

“The bill is a simple and straightforward one. It works from the presumption that placing these beautiful creatures into the kinds of pens that they have been kept in is inherently cruel.”

With this news, animal right activists are rejoicing.

Humane Canada, an animal rights organization tweeted:
“Nothing fantastic ever happens in a hurry. But today we celebrate that we have ended the captivity and breeding of whales and dolphins. This is news to splash a fin at.”

Green Party Canada said, “When we work together, good things happen.
This is a combined effort from @ElizabethMay, Senators Moore and Sinclaire, key Liberal and NDP MPs, NGOs, marine scientists and everyday people across Canada.”

Reportedly, though, the Vancouver Aquarium and Marineland, two Canadian facilities, still have bottlenose dolphins, beluga whales and orcas captivated. Although they will be allowed to keep their mammals, they will be banned from breeding or captivating new ones.

What a great way to save our precious marine animals! We hope all the other countries follow this!

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