A popular tourist attraction north of the border is again under fire over how it treats its animals. Marineland is facing six new charges of animal cruelty.
The latest charges by the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals are part of an investigation that began in November over a complaint of alleged cruelty. At that time the agency filed five charges over the treatment of peacocks, guinea hens and black bears.
Now, after widening the probe, six more charges have been filed over the treatment of elk, red deer and other types of deer.
"The animals being in distress can relate to not being provided with adequate care food water, shelter," said Jennifer Bluhm, OSPCA Deputy Chief. "Necessary veterinary care in some cases."
In November a California-based animal rights group called Last Chance for Animals filed the complaint. It accused Marineland of animal abuse and provided photographs and videos from a former Marineland employee.
For its part, the Niagara Falls, ON tourist attraction is dismissing the allegations and accuses the animal welfare agency of acting on behalf of a band of discredited activists. It adds that none of the allegations have been proven in court.
Officials with Marineland are expected to appear in court at the end of January. If convicted on all counts, Marineland could face a $60,000 fine, a lifetime ban on owning animals and a jail term.