Animal cruelty charges dropped against Marineland
Animal cruelty charges that had been laid against Marineland were dropped Thursday after prosecutors said there was no reasonable chance of conviction on most of the 11 counts faced by the Ontario tourist attraction.
During a brief hearing in a Niagara Falls, Ont., courtroom, the Crown said it could have proceeded on three of the charges _ which related to failing to comply with standards of care for a peacock, guinea hens and a red deer _ but did not believe it was in the public interest to do so, citing potential court costs and a weak case.
Crown attorney Stephen Galbraith said prosecutors had instead come up with an alternative solution that included ongoing monitoring of the amusement park and zoo.
“The Crown’s case is more circumstantial than direct evidence,’’ Galbraith told the court. “The photographs and video provided preserves observations, but there was no independent examination of the animals. The veterinarian’s report was not able to determine the cause of issues related to the animals.’’
The justice of the peace hearing the case accepted the Crown’s submission and withdrew the charges.
The 11 charges against Marineland were the result of an investigation by the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals that was launched last November after the animal welfare agency received a complaint.