SeaWorld just got busted by a US government agency for violating the Animal Abuse Act -- and we may have a rare chance to end its animal cruelty for good.
SeaWorld imprisons orca whales in tiny, cage-like tanks -- and the USDA citation reveals conditions at the park are dangerous to the animals' health. SeaWorld is still defending its barbaric practices, but pressure is building on the company.
In a surprise move yesterday, a Californian congressmen introduced a law to make it illegal to keep orcas in captivity. This could change everything -- but SeaWorld is already mounting a vicious campaign to defeat this congressman's brave move. We need to tell the State of California that the public won't accept SeaWorld's imprisonment of orcas any longer.
SeaWorld's actions are no surprise to anyone who has watched Blackfish, the documentary exposé showing how SeaWorld tortures these intelligent animals as they force them to perform tricks for the sake of entertainment and profits. But the Orca Welfare and Safety Act could change all that. The Act makes it illegal to “hold in captivity, or use, a wild-caught or captive-bred orca for performance or entertainment purposes.”
SeaWorld would have you believe that the captivity of whales is about education, but we know better -- it’s about profits. Through the years many groups, including SeaWorld's own trainers and staff, have called for the end of the imprisonment of whales.
But with recent scrutiny, the company is under more pressure than ever. After CNN aired the groundbreaking Blackfish documentary, the world now knows that Seaworld still keeps orcas like Tillkum in captivity, taken from the wild at two years old. This is dangerous not just for Tillkum's own health, but for his trainers -- the mental effects of being locked in a 20-by-30 foot dark metal container has seen him implicated in the deaths of three people.
This latest bust by the USDA for violating the Animal Abuse Act is just sign that SeaWorld needs to stop this. Attendance is dwindling at SeaWorld as the world wises up about the cruelty of the business of capturing animals for entertainment. Parents and kids are understanding that forcing intelligent, sensitive animals to live in cages is a cruel, unethical practice. If this law passes, we can stop this practice in California for good.
Thanks for all that you do,
Paul, Angus, Hanna, and the rest of us.
SeaWorld Cited By USDA For Violating Animal Welfare Act, The Dodo, 25 February 2014.
Calif. bill proposed to stop orca shows, Politico, 7 March 2014.
Blackfish' sparks debate over taking kids to animal parks, NY Times, 18 July 2013.