Bill Would Ban Orca Shows at SeaWorld

California legislator say it's cruel to keep killer whales in captivity
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 7, 2014 6:16 PM CST
Bill Would Ban Orca Shows at SeaWorld
File photo of killer whales at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida.   (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

A lawmaker in California wants to put an end to SeaWorld's orca shows. Assemblyman Richard Bloom, a Santa Monica Democrat, proposed legislation that would prohibit the shows featuring trained killer whales, reports CNN. If passed, it would affect only the park in San Diego, not SeaWorld's other locations in Florida and Texas. Bloom says he was moved by the anti-SeaWorld documentary Blackfish, and the film's director, Gabriela Cowperthwaite, joined Bloom for the launch of what he called "landmark legislation," reports the San Diego Union-Tribune. The measure won't have an easy time of it in the legislature, however, because the park is a huge source of tourism revenue, notes the LA Times.

“There is no justification for the continued captive display of orcas for entertainment purposes,” says Bloom. "These beautiful creatures are much too large and far too intelligent to be confined in small, concrete tanks for their entire lives.” SeaWorld, which is fighting back hard against the documentary's claims that it mistreats its whales, responded by lumping Bloom in with "extreme animal rights activists." The company is "one of the world's most respected zoological institutions [and] already operates under multiple federal, state and local animal welfare laws," it said. (More SeaWorld stories.)

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