Lawmaker wants to ban orca shows at SeaWorld

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A state lawmaker is introducing legislation that would
ban SeaWorld from using orcas in its San Diego shows.

Assemblyman Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica, said he was driven to author
the bill by allegations of animal abuse made in the disputed documentary

“There is no justification for the continued captive display of orcas
for entertainment purposes,” Bloom said in remarks prepared for the bill's
release today. “These beautiful creatures are much too large and far too
intelligent to be confined in small, concrete tanks for their entire lives.”

SeaWorld executives have adamantly denied animal abuse allegations,
along with accusations that they do not do enough to protect the trainers who
work with killer whales, which can live up to 80 years, grow to 32 feet in
length and weigh up to six tons.

SeaWorld San Diego released a statement that called the attendees
scheduled to appear alongside Bloom at a late-morning news conference “well-
known extreme animal rights activists, many of whom regularly campaign against
SeaWorld and other accredited marine mammal parks and institutions.”

Some in the group have suggested animals in human care should be
considered slaves under the 13th amendment of the U.S. Constitution, according
to the theme park's statement.

SeaWorld officials said the planned legislation “appears to reflect the
same sort of out-of-the-mainstream thinking.”

They noted that SeaWorld already operates under multiple federal, state
and local animal welfare laws, and “engage(s) in business practices that are
responsible, sustainable and reflective of the balanced values all Americans

“Blackfish” explores the 2010 death of trainer at SeaWorld Orlando who
was drowned by an orca. Since Dawn Brancheau's death, trainers have not been
allowed back into the water with the orcas.

In an open letter, SeaWorld accused Blackfish filmmakers of using
emotionally manipulative sequences and relying on animal rights activists
masquerading as scientists and former SeaWorld employees with little experience
working with killer whales.

Bloom's proposal has three central objectives, according to U-T San
Diego: end the use of performing orcas in theme shows, ban captive breeding and
prohibit the import and export of the so-called killer whales. It does not seek
to prevent SeaWorld from maintaining an orca exhibit so long as it is done in
more of an aquarium-like setting.

David Perle, of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said it was
time to recognize that orcas and dolphins are held captive at SeaWorld and do
not belong there.

“Their containment in pitiful swimming pools instead of great oceans
and in isolation instead of pods condemns our own race's greed and
obliviousness,” Perle said. “At SeaWorld and other animal abusement parks,
these once-magnificent beings are separated from their families — including
babies who are torn from their mothers' sides — and can swim only in endless
circles between concrete walls, the constant stress of confinement driving them
to lash out violently in frustration at each other and their human captors.”

He said PETA and its supporters want SeaWorld to retire the orcas to a
seaside sanctuary.

“This bill has the potential to end the deep injustice of exhibitions
of captive marine life,” Perle said.

Categories: KUSI