An­i­mal cru­elty charges dropped against Marineland

Cape Breton Post - - Canada -

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.

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