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article imagePetition to regulate Ontario zoos and aquariums goes to Premier

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By Darren Weir     Sep 17, 2012 in Environment
Toronto - Former workers at Marineland are presenting a petition to Ontario's Premier today demanding a response to allegations of neglect at the Niagara Falls attraction. They want new laws to regulate aquariums and zoos.
The ex-workers have teamed up with Zoocheck Canada on the petition, demanding the government, "pass a new law that will regulate a high standard of care for animals in aquariums and zoos, and will provide an opportunity to close places like Marineland when they don’t comply. During the past 20 years there have been many attempts to help the animals at Marineland, but these attempts have never turned into real Government action."
The petition, on the website change.org has collected 77,000 signatures, supporting the demands.
Newstalk1010 says Phil Demers, the trainer who quit so he could speak out about the conditions at the park, is heading up the presentation of the petition. "We're glad the Premier is listening and that he thinks the animal neglect at Marineland is 'unsettling', but his plan to wait for the OSPCA (Ontario Society for the Protection Against Cruelty to Animals) report is totally inadequate. Whatever the OSPCA finds, it won't change the fact these animals exist in a legal void. We need strong laws now."
Digital Journal first told you about allegations of animal neglect at Marineland in August, when former staffers told the Toronto Star that conditions at the theme park were making the animals sick.
A week later, an investigation was launched by the OSPCA and the Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA), but even before either organization released the results of their probe, Marineland issued a news release saying that "no major issues were found." Neither the OSPCA nor CAZA have yet released their findings.
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