Photo Credit: Don Barletti / LA Times
(Sacramento) On the heels of SeaWorld’s March 2016 decision to suspend orca breeding and captivity programs, the state of California has followed suit. Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation on Tuesday that will ban all orca breeding and captivity programs, like the one formerly run by the controversial theme park.
Starting in June of 2017, all California parks will now be outlawed from featuring orca, known as killer whales, in any performance deemed for entertainment purposes. Remaining orcas in captivity can be used for “educational presentations” only.
Since the 2013 release of the award-winning documentary Blackfish, SeaWorld Entertainment Company has been the lightning rod for a growing choir of animal rights activists and concerned citizens. The surprise news brings international hope that other states and countries will soon follow suit, and go as far as extending the program to include other captive cetaceans.