Written by Vegetarian Star on March 22nd, 2016 in Animal Issues.
In what many animal rights activists are calling a victory, SeaWorld has agreed to phase out its whale captivity breeding program.
Instead, the popular water park will direct its efforts towards, “new, inspiring, natural orca encounters” with educational programs emphasizing enrichment, exercise and health with its remaining killer whales,” said CEO Joel Manby.
The breeding and entertainment program has faced much controversy over the years related to the health of its whales and the safety of its trainers. The most shocking news that generated the most discussion in the media was the death of a trainer.
Animal rights groups have long cited the decline in the quality of life for whales living in facilities like SeaWorld. A 1995 study found orcas living in captive settings have a mortality rate of 2.5 times higher than those living in the wild. SeaWorld has also been cited for violating regulatory guidelines, including an instance by Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) for allowing trainers to interact with whales in the water.
The San Diego facility will end its whale shows in 2017. San Antonio and Orlando shows will end in 2019.
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