California Officially Bans Orca Captivity and Breeding

TIlikum Orca (Gerardo Mora / Getty)
Gerardo Mora / Getty

California Governor Jerry Brown signed an anti-Orca breeding and captivity bill into law on Tuesday. Democrats had been pushing for the law since at least 2013, and its passage follows within a year of Sea World San Diego succumbing to pressure from left-wing animal rights activists by agreeing to end future orca shows.

The bill bans breeding of killer whales in captivity as well as use of the whales in orca performances conducted for entertainment according to the Los Angeles Times.

Organizations like radical animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animalts (PETA) had been relentlessly gunning for the SeaWorld Orca shows for years. In 2013, the controversial anti-SeaWorld movie Blackfish preceded a sharp drop in the company’s stock price. Failed Assembly Bill 2140, the Orca Welfare and Safety Act, was also said to have been authored by Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) in response to Blackfish. (SeaWorld has countered many aspects of the Blackfish documentary on its website.) The bill was was later reintroduced as AB2305 earlier this year, then renumbered AB 1453 in August. It was finally passed, along with resources budget trailer bill SB 839, according to the Animal Welfare Institute.

Last October, activists saw victory when the California Coastal Commission made SeaWorld choose between building a new massive habitat expansion for their orcas or continuing to hold the shows in which those same whales perform in at the park. SeaWorld did attempt to fight back against the conditional habitat approval, suing the Coastal Commission in December.

But SeaWorld San Diego finally gave in last November when it announced it would be phasing out the theatrical killer whale shows in 2016. Part of the announcement included news that the shows would be replaced with a new “orca experience” in 2017. In March, SeaWorld added news that it would halt its captive breeding program, according to National Public Radio.

The Blue World Project habitat expansion project has been in the works for many years. High level representatives with the Sea World San Diego park previously attested to Breitbart News that the project began before the release of Blackfish and was not a public relations effort in response to the movie.

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana 


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