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Better known as the Orca Welfare and Safety Act, AB 2140 will phase out the keeping of killer whales in captivity for entertainment purposes in California. Assemblyman Richard Bloom announced he had introduced the bill after being moved by the documentary “Blackfish”. The bill will make it illegal to import or export killer whales to different parks as well as orca embryos and sperm, captive breeding will also be put to an end, and all killer whales currently being held in tanks in California parks will be moved to sea pens to live out their lives and for attempted release. The bill will be revolutionary and experts say should make a ripple effect.
At the conference Bloom spoke of orca’s close knit family ties, their complex intelligence, and the fact that it is not justifiable to continue keeping them in an environment where they cannot thrive simply for human entertainment. If this passes the legislation will be the most comprehensive protection law for captive orca in more than 40 years. When looked at that way it seems as if the views on the captivity issue are quite outdated. Many scientists who specialize in orca research are backing Bloom’s legislation, hoping to end captivity for all orca.
Link to the bill (PDF):
Bloom is not targeting any particular park nor does he want a park to close because of his bill, but due to the fact that the only park in California that holds killer whales is Sea World it has garnered a lot of backlash from Sea World supporters and Sea World themselves. A Sea World spokesman criticized the Assemblyman for associating with “extreme activists” like PETA and others that routinely protest at their parks.
Important Petitions For This Cause
Here are some petitions that you can sign to show your support for this bill, it is very important to show the state of Califonia that the keeping of such intelligent, family oriented animals in captivity for entertainment is no longer a popular opinion:
Main one to sign - Take Part
Here is a fact sheet about the bill and the orcas that are currently being held in California: