A California lawmaker wants to ban the use of killer whales in any shows in the state. And, as you can imagine, that has triggered a lot of controversy.
State Assemblyman Richard Bloom says he was inspired by the documentary “Blackfish,” which portrays the treatment of killer whales in water parks like SeaWorld as harsh and inhumane. (Via Manny O Productions / Blackfish)
Bloom: “There’s simply no justification for the continued captive display of orca’s for entertainment purposes.”
Anchor: “His bill would stop captive breeding and end all killer whale performances in California.” (Via KNBC)
The bill also would stop the import and export of orcas and require all captive orcas in California be retired to sea pens, if possible.
Currently, SeaWorld in San Diego would be the only place in California impacted by the legislation. SeaWorld has been quick to comment on the bill saying it is...
“Severely flawed on multiple levels. We trust that our leaders who are responsible for voting on this proposal will recognize the clear bias of those behind the bill.” (Via KABC)
The announcement of the bill also drew strong criticism from San Diego’s Mayor Kevin Faulconer who said it could have a negative impact on jobs.
“SeaWorld is a critical part of San Diego’s economy. In addition to drawing thousands of tourists to San Diego each year, it is also a leader in maritime and wildlife conservation.” (Via Los Angeles Times)
Even though the bill proposed would take effect only in California, a writer for the Orlando Business Journal says, if passed, it could have a ripple effect all the way to Florida.
“The legislation may result in a call to action in Florida from any state leader who may share the same sentiments as California's Bloom. That could be disastrous for SeaWorld Orlando.”
Bloom says he expects the bill will be assigned to a committee in the State Assembly but didn’t get more specific on a timeline for the plan.