SeaWorld to End Orca Breeding Programme and Orca Shows by 2019

Banner image courtesy of Banksy

There has been a joint announcement between SeaWorld and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), that says SeaWorld has agreed to stop breeding captive killer whales.

Therefore, we can assume no more orcas will be bred (by SeaWorld’s dubious methods) in the future. The last captive orcas held by SeaWorld (29 orcas at present but Tilikum in poor health) will be released of their ‘duties’ at SeaWorld’s ‘entertainment’ parks by 2019.

“Instead of breeding orcas, SeaWorld will now invest $50 million over five years to increase its focus on rescue and rehabilitation of marine animals in distress and bringing attention to rescued animals that cannot be released to raise awareness of their plight and educate the public about the growing threats to marine life” – Take Part Daily, 17 March 2016.

SeaWorld are teaming up with HSUS to campaign on marine issues, such as illegal commercial (‘research’) whaling, seal hunting etc.

Well done the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) for negotiating this policy change with SeaWorld and let’s hope that the new partnership comes to fruition in due course.

SeaWorld’s excuses for past wrong doing can be read at this link, “We’re ending our Orca Breeding Program. Here’s Why.” SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment CEO Joel Manby, Los Angeles Times, 17 March 2016

For as long as they live, the orcas at SeaWorld will stay in our parks. They’ll continue to receive the highest-quality care, based on the latest advances in marine veterinary medicine, science and zoological best practices” – SeaWorld CEO, Joel Manby, 17 March 2016.

So, no coastal sea sanctuary (it’s understood why SeaWorld’s captive orcas can’t be rehabilitated back into the wild) for any of SeaWorld’s captive orcas then – just retirement at some point to live out their lives in one of SeaWorld’s concrete park prisons under SeaWorld’s ‘care’ it would seem. Surely, there is a better, more humane solution that SeaWorld can fund than that?

SeaWorld

What happens to the rest of SeaWorld’s captive cetaceans, the dolphins taken from the wild and forced to perform for human ‘entertainment’ at SeaWorld’s parks and other such ‘aquariums’ around the globe?

It’s going to take much more effort for SeaWorld (and the industry it represents) to gain any credibility for altruistic animal concerns, if SeaWorld continues to seek to profit from any form of animal exploitation with its current parks and shows – no matter if SeaWorld has now (though forced to, kicking and screaming for a long, long time) made some welcome concessions to humane animal welfare in its on-going business model based on animal abuse.

Sources:

SeaWorld to End Orca Breeding Programme,” BBC News, 17 March 2016

SeaWorld to End Captive Breeding of Killer Whales, Orca Shows,” Take Part Daily, 17 March 2016

Breaking News: SeaWorld to End All Orca Breeding,” HSUS, 17 March 2016

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