MOSCOW, June 20 (RAPSI) – Russian government would change laws and regulations to prohibit catching whales for educational purposes, deputy PM Alexey Gordeyev said during an annual live broadcast nationwide phone-in on Thursday.

In February, President Vladimir Putin ordered Russia’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and Ministry of Agriculture to seal the fate of mammals held in the so-called whale prison in the Primorsk Territory of Russia’s Far East.

That same month, investigation was opened into alleged cruelty to captured orca whales and white whales. During the probe into a mammal poaching case launched in November 2018 investigators established that 90 white whales and 11 orca whales were mistreated in a local oceanic mammal adaptation center.

In May, local authorities said that the whales could be released in two months. A court on Sakhalin island held that the mammals were captured illegally but did not seize them from catching companies.