The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said it is surprised and extremely disappointed to hear that all animal cruelty charges have been dropped against the Marineland amusement park.
A California-based animal rights group also blasted the Crown's decision to drop all charges against Marineland as "shameful." Last Chance for Animals submitted the 35-page complaint that prompted an OSPCA investigation in November.
Prosecutors told a Niagara Falls Ontario courtroom Thursday that there was no reasonable chance of conviction on most of the 11 counts faced by the Ontario tourist attraction.
They said there was a prospect of conviction on the remaining three charges - which related to failing to comply with standards of care for a peacock, guinea hens and a red deer - but it was not in the public interest to pursue them, citing potential court costs and a weak case.
Marineland issued a statement saying it had suffered "reputational damage" as a result of the charges that were withdrawn. It had been the "orchestrated" target of "radical animal rights activists" for years.