Canada introduces new legislation to ban captivity of elephants and great apes

Written by Jeppe W

Nov.24 - 2023 3:05 PM CET


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Ottawa has taken a significant step forward in animal rights by proposing a ban on keeping elephants and great apes in captivity.

This move comes after the 2019 prohibition of whales and dolphins in captivity, reflecting Canada's commitment to preventing cruelty towards animals.

The bill, sponsored by Senator Marky Klyne of Saskatchewan, was introduced in the Senate on Tuesday. It seeks to restrict anyone from owning an elephant or a great ape, including chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans, with a few exceptions for species preservation and scientific research.

Senator Klyne expressed concern that, under current regulations, individuals in some Canadian regions can own a chimpanzee without a permit, highlighting the need for this legislation.

Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault commented on the strict criteria that the recapture of any elephant or great ape in Canada must meet. These criteria ensure that such activities are primarily for the benefit of animal welfare, conservation, or science.

Senator Klyne, during the second reading of the bill on Thursday, emphasized the intelligence of elephants and the suffering they endure in captivity or when displayed to the public in unnatural environments.

This proposed legislation is part of a broader initiative to enhance animal protection laws within Canada and globally. Alongside this bill, Minister Guilbeault recently announced a ban on the import of elephant ivory and rhino horns, including hunting trophies and carved ivory items. Exceptions to this ban are minimal, primarily for museum and scientific purposes.

Canada's ongoing efforts to tighten laws around animal captivity and protection are a testament to the country's commitment to ethical and humane treatment of animals. This latest move to ban the captivity of elephants and great apes marks a significant stride in this direction.

Source: Ottawa Bans Captive Monkeys And Elephants (

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