Preemptive Ban On Whale And Dolphin Performances Proposed

Jan 28, 2015

A Washington state senator wants to make it a crime for a zoo or aquarium in Washington to hold a wild-caught or captive-bred whale, dolphin or porpoise for purposes of entertainment or performance.
Credit Christian Benseler / Flickr

SeaWorld is famous for its choreographed dolphin and Orca whale performances. Now a Washington state lawmaker wants to make sure what happens at SeaWorld stays at SeaWorld. He introduced legislation to prohibit marine mammal shows in Washington.

Washington state Senator Kevin Ranker remembers visiting SeaWorld San Diego several years ago.

“It was a very powerful experience for me and not a positive one,” Ranker said.

Ranker, a Democrat, wants to make it a crime for a zoo or aquarium in Washington to hold a wild-caught or captive-bred whale, dolphin or porpoise for purposes of entertainment or performance.

“They’re used to swimming hundreds and hundreds and thousands of miles and we’re putting them in tanks the size of the Washington state Senate floor. It’s disgusting,” Ranker said.

Ranker’s proposal would make an exception for zoos and aquariums to hold these marine mammals temporarily for rehabilitation or research. In a statement, SeaWorld says it’s committed to animal welfare and calls its whale and dolphin shows educational and enriching.

Concerning cetacean captivity information.

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