In Defense Of Animals Calls For End To Captive Breeding And Exhibition Of Whales And Dolphins
San Rafael, Calif. – In Defense of Animals (IDA) says the tragic death of a trainer at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida reinforces IDA’s argument that orcas (killer whales) and other dolphins should not be held in captivity. All amusement parks that hold such animals captive are cruel, exploitative, and dangerous to the marine mammals and the people who come in direct contact with them.
“Orcas should not be forced to endure a lifetime of captivity, and it is irresponsible for SeaWorld to breed more animals to live such a life,” said Dr. Elliot Katz, President of IDA. “This would be like raising a human child in a bathtub for his entire life.”
IDA urged SeaWorld to stop capturing marine mammals for any purpose other than rescue and rehabilitation, to stop breeding marine mammals in captivity, and to immediately discontinue the demeaning circus-style shows.
Orcas use echolocation (sonar) to communicate, navigate, and hunt for food. “In solid concrete tanks,” said Dr. Katz, “their sound waves bounce off the walls, comparable to what we’d experience if confined to a tiny room of mirrors. The stress of captivity can drive orcas and other marine mammals to display neurotic behaviors that understandably enough, can lead to tragic consequences.”
Captive orcas must swim in circles or float listlessly on the surface of the water. “These conditions must logically promote boredom and psychological stress,” added Dr. Katz. Wild orcas rarely lie still or swim in circles.
IDA urges the public to avoid what Flipper’s trainer Ric O’Barry calls “abusement parks” arguing that cruelty to orcas and other marine mammals is perpetuated by attendance at such shows. At SeaWorld and such “abusement parks”, orcas, and other marine mammals and people, suffer at the hands of major corporations that put profits before compassion.
“The public should contact the USDA and SeaWorld and oppose programs that compromise animal welfare and human safety,” said Dr. Anand Ramanathan, IDA’s Executive Director and veterinarian. “The USDA and SeaWorld must ban direct contact between people and dolphins and whales. Both parties should facilitate the transfer of orcas to transitional marine habitats in the regions where they were captured.”
For more information, visit: www.idausa.org.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 3, 2010
Contact: Melissa Gonzalez, Melissa@idausa.org, 707-981-7701
IN DEFENSE OF ANIMALS • 3010 KERNER BLVD. • SAN RAFAEL, CA 94901 • 415-448-0048
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