Animal cruelty charges dropped against Marineland

All animal cruelty charges against Marineland have been dropped after prosecutors said there was no reasonable chance of conviction on most of the 11 counts.

During a brief hearing in a Niagara Falls, Ont., court on Thursday, the Crown said it could have proceeded on three of the charges but did not believe it was in the public interest to do so.

The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals launched an animal cruelty investigation against the Niagara Falls tourist attraction last November after receiving a complaint.

Marineland was initially charged with five counts of animal cruelty late last year in connection with the treatment of peacocks, guinea hens and black bears.

In January, the OSPCA laid six more animal cruelty charges against Marineland relating to elk, red deer and fallow deer.

Marineland steadfastly denied the allegations and said the complaint stemmed from a disgruntled former employee.