Marineland has been cleared of all charges laid by the OSPCA. The charges were formally withdrawn on Thursday.
In addition to the reputational damage suffered by Marineland as a result of the charges that were withdrawn, Marineland has also suffered five years of baseless accusations by ill-informed, radical activists.
When Marineland responded to the January 2017 charges we said:
“the OSPCA is continuing a publicity campaign at the behest of a band of discredited activists with little relevant expertise or knowledge, in an effort to avoid further embarrassment related to an ongoing investigation into the OSPCA’s perceived failure to protect animals that is being led by the same activists they are now firmly in bed with.”
Marineland stands by that statement.
We also said then:
“Marineland looks forward to the OSPCA laying out their case in court, where facts matter and there is an objective measure of reality that has not been seen in the basis of their charges or the supporting documentation. We will hold the OSPCA to the high standards of Ontario’s legal system and require them to defend their charges to the fullest extent possible.”
The Crown conducted its own independent review of the OSPCA charges and has effectively agreed with Marineland by determining all the charges ought to be withdrawn.
The OSPCA literally prepared the first of these charges on site, after spending a single afternoon executing a search warrant and viewing more than 4,000 animals across more than three hundred acres at our park.
The OSPCA did not remove or isolate any of the 4,000 animals, despite laying multiple charges.
Following the laying of the charges, the OSPCA issued multiple press releases. They then posted that same information to the Internet platforms they actively fundraise from. They also organized and conducted a news conference to publicize the laying of the charges. Marineland expressly requested to listen in to the press conference and the OSPCA refused that request.
Marineland was unnecessarily made to suffer severe reputational damage at the hands of the OSPCA’s publicity and fundraising machine.
As a matter of practice, Marineland now audio and video records all OSPCA inspections of the park to ensure an accurate record of the inspections and conditions of the animals and the park. Following the laying of the charges, the OSPCA conducted a full two-day inspection, that was audio and video recorded, of the very same animals and enclosures, and found no issues of concern.