State Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) has introduced legislation that would stop SeaWorld from using killer whales in tandem with trainers at the marine-mammal park.
The assemblyman said the recent documentary “Blackfish,” which aired multiple times on CNN recently, points to animal abuse of orcas at marine parks — the inspiration behind his bill.
“There is no justification for the continued captive display of orcas for entertainment purposes,’” Bloom said. “These beautiful creatures are much too large and far too intelligent to be confined in small, concrete tanks for their entire lives.”
SeaWorld quickly responded to Bloom’s bill.
“The premise behind this proposed legislation is severely flawed on multiple levels, and its validity is highly questionable under the United States and California Constitutions,” said SeaWorld San Diego spokesman Dave Koontz. “We trust that our leaders who are responsible for voting on this proposal will recognize the clear bias of those behind the bill.”
SeaWorld claims Bloom’s backers on the bill are “well-known extreme animal-rights activists, many of whom regularly campaign against SeaWorld and other accredited marine-mammal parks and institutions.”
The marine-mammal park insists Bloom’s supporters include “some of the same activists that partnered with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals in bringing the meritless claim that animals in human care should be considered slaves under the 13th amendment of the U.S. Constitution — a clear publicity stunt. This legislation reflects the same sort of out-of-the-mainstream thinking.”
Referring to SeaWorld and similar institutions as “abusement parks,” animal-rights activists are increasingly calling on the marine-mammal park to retire its orcas to seaside sanctuaries.
The animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has also reportedly threatened to sue San Diego’s airport for refusing to allow advertising urging visitors to not go to SeaWorld until the marine-mammal park changes its allegedly abusive policy of requiring animals to perform in entertainment shows.