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Update: California Bill Would Free Orcas at SeaWorld

Written by Michelle Kretzer | April 8, 2014

Update: California residents packed the State Assembly today to show support for The Orca Welfare and Safety Act. The Assembly’s Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee decided to further study the issue before voting on the bill. The writing is on the wall. The public has learned how orcas suffer psychologically, die prematurely, and lash out in frustration and aggression in SeaWorld’s prisons, and consumers have responded with lower attendance levels, public protests, and legislation. SeaWorld can take the time between now and when the bill comes to a vote next year to figure out how to release the orcas into ocean sanctuaries.

Originally posted on  March 7, 2013:

The captive orcas at SeaWorld San Diego may soon be headed for freedom in spacious ocean sanctuaries.

Today, California State Assembly Member Richard Bloom introduced the Orca Welfare and Safety Act, which would make it illegal to “hold in captivity, or use, a wild-caught or captive-bred orca for performance or entertainment purposes.”

Jumping Orca

The bill would also put a damper on SeaWorld’s breeding operation by banning artificial insemination of captive killer whales within the state and blocking the import of orca semen from other states.

If the bill passes, SeaWorld San Diego will be forced to work to rehabilitate the orcas and return them to the wild when possible or transfer them to protected ocean sanctuaries. In the 21st century, it’s time to recognize that the orcas and dolphins held captive at SeaWorld do not belong there at all. Their containment in pitiful swimming pools instead of great oceans and in isolation instead of pods reflects our own species’ greed and obliviousness. At SeaWorld and other animal abusement parks, these magnificent beings are separated from their families—including babies who are torn from their mothers’ sides—and can swim only in endless circles between concrete walls, the constant stress of confinement driving them to lash out violently in frustration at each other and their human captors.

PETA and kind people around the world have called on SeaWorld to retire these deprived orcas to a seaside sanctuary, but the park continues to defend its overt cruelty. This bill has the potential to end the deep injustice of exhibitions of captive marine life.

Animal advocates, we can’t afford to let this opportunity pass us by. If you live in California, please e-mail Assembly Member Richard Bloom  and thank him for introducing the Orca Welfare and Safety Act. And please contact your own California State Assembly members and urge them to support the bill.

Commenting is closed.
  • tweaknee says:

    I would dedicate my life to passing a bill at the congressional level to keep Orcas from this cruel fate. Where do I sign up?

  • kelly says:

    honestly do us humans not realize what harm we do to animals as we keep them captive? they dont ask to be locked in cages or trapped in zoo’s. its one thing when your a rancher and you work with the animal not against them. but the pathetic ways that humans act towards animals in the city’ zoo’ or any other animal sighting place is just rediculous. what if just if humans were locked up in a cage’ pinned down with ropes, killed for fighting to get away? in a way we are, but WE can understand eachother, but can us humans understand an animals words? NO we can’t. some of us do because we listen with our eyes. People look at what we are doing to the world, the food chain, to ourselfs. its sick.

  • Sam Pannill says:

    Being a Florida resident, I can only wish we had a member of congress like Rep. Bloom of your beautiful state of California who was willing to introduce similar legislation to rid us of our SeaWorld horror show.

  • Thanks PETA for doing a fantastic job on behalf of animals.

  • Deirdre Moss says:

    Good luck with the passing of this landmark bill and thanks to Richard Bloom for exposing the long term mental and physical abuse the orcas are subjected to. In a civilized society this should not be happening. The concept of keeping these giants captive and confined, to perform tricks is cruel and humiliating to say the least. Praying hard that Tilikum and other orcas will be released from this unnatural and tortuous lifestyle as soon as possible.

  • Harriet Kettle says:


  • Dave says:

    wahoooooo!! great news!! its about time the human race started to become more humane.we have along way to go, but we are defiantly making steps in the right direction. gotta love PETA!! way to go guys, keep up the great work!!

  • tamara says:

    freeing of the orcas should include all seaquariums!!! You should see the Miami Seaquarium!! it is an awful place for whales, orcas, dolphins etc.

  • zoe ertsou says:


  • meredith says:

    my grandma offered to take me to seaworld, and i said, “heck no! seaworld is awful!”

  • linda74111 says:

    Please free he orcas 🙁

  • Cheyenne Aponi says:

    FREE THE ORCAS!!!! I’m am disgusted that I loved SeaWorld as a child. Now I’m doing everything I can to free these beautiful creatures. I honestly wish that SeaWorld can be animal free. No animal deserves to be prisoners in tiny tanks, or cages for entertainment. It’s despicable and sickening. I wish there was the same bill for Florida. Every Orca needs to be free.

  • Roma says:

    REading this has brought tears to my eyes. I sincerely hope that this passes and that it will be the start of something great- that all captive animals can be set free and not kept for entertainment purposes.

  • Tamara Braun says:

    I live in Europe (Austria) and sent on the 6th of April a support letter to Richard Bloom.

    This cruelty must be stopped for ever and I hope so badly that the bill can be realized!!!

    Furthermore I hope this bill will be an example for all other states/countries/nations and their marin parks (i.e. Loro Parque, Gran Canaria,…)!

  • Dylan Kriegman says:

    Please pass I’m praying for all the orcas in California. I know you have spent far to many years In a tank with no freedom but soon if all goes well you will be FREE!

  • Gina V. says:

    I visited Sea World once in San Diego. The “Shamu” show literally broke my heart. Thank you to the producer of “Black Fish”, Assembly member Richard Bloom, PETA and all individuals and organizations rallying to free the Orca’s.

  • Laura Warren says:

    Please actively support this legislation by calling and writing California Assembly members. Time is of the essence! The first legislative hearing is currently scheduled for April 22, 2014 before the Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee at the State Capitol in Sacramento. This is a public hearing and testimony in opposition to and in support of this bill will be taken. Hearings can be rescheduled so be sure to keep checking with the Assembly clerk on dates. Show your support of this landmark legislation!

  • ai shrex says:

    the oldest known religion to humans is hinduism,the basis is known as karma, ever heard of it?!

  • teresa says:

    please pass this !!! stop the torture right in front of our eyes!!!!

  • Sherryann says:

    This is a wonderful Idea I hope all the best that it pass going up on facebook!!!!!!

  • Mari says:

    I am so excited about this bill. I emailed to thank him, I emailed other assembly members to support it. Pray that it passes!!!!!!!

  • Tempey Cooper says:

    they belong “home” in their own natural environment. We need to go there to gaze at them I think this is very cruel.

  • Emilia says:

    PASS IT!!! Doing right things is not difficult at all!

  • Amanda says:

    I live in Minnesota and sent the Senator support! I will support even if I’m across the country!

  • Carola says:

    i am wondering, i live in new york….can we start a petition to support this? would many signatures help ? Please let’s do this !!!

  • Alex says:

    I live in LA and I’m going to tell everyone about this! This is the best news I have ever heard! Let’s make this happen!

  • William says:

    PETA, are you able to prepare a page with a ready-made email for California residents to send to their legislators urging them to support this bill?

    I have 3 friends/family member in CA who would probably sign and forward it if I could give them a link to a ready-to-go email.


  • Greta Wanyik says:

    Orcas belong in thei habitat, and not for entertainment in captivity.

  • Patti Jorash says:

    Lauren, I agree with you. I doubt Florida will get there soon, but we have to keep trying. Props to PETA and the California legislators fighting for this. Hopefully, the generations in captivity today will be the last.

  • Thanks for taking the time and having the passion to help free theses magnificent animals. They belong in the sea NOT in tanks. I hope we can eventually stop all the cruelty at those ridiculous rodeos too. What fun to terrify innocent animals and drag them to the ground pulling muscles and tendons with out a care so some cowboy can take a boy…wow what a man…or woman…yetch!

  • Sky says:

    Is there anything we can do if we don’t live in California? I live in Canada but I really want to help in some way!

  • Mary ann says:

    Please we are so close!!! Let’s all push a bit and make this happen.

  • Kerry Telford says:


  • Super Nanny Dogs Brasil says:

    Um apelo aos TURISTAS BRASILEIROS!!! DIGA NÃO AOS SHOWS AQUÁTICOS! NÃO PRESTIGIEM & PATROCINEM TANTAS MORTES & SOFRIMENTO! A CADA GOLFINHO CAPTURADO PARA SHOWS AQÚÁTICOS centenas morrem… Essa foi una DENÚNCIA do Criador do FLIPPER, sucesso na década de 70, arrependido de ter criado a Série… Confira o documentário sobre esses massacres em nome dessa DIVERSÃO MÒRBIDA!

  • Betti-Lou Maus says:

    YAY!!!!!!! Please PASS the bill <3

  • sharon chang says:

    God willing there will eventually be no animals in captivity!no circus,no zoo,no testing,no slaughterhouses etc!

  • Anasara says:

    Even if you don’t live California, it still helps to email Assemblyman Bloom in support of the Orca protection bill. He can use it to show how it affects California’s image for tourism, a critical industry in the state. I have lobbied state legislatures and can attest to the positive effect out-of-state interests can have on state legislatiion.

  • Mich says:

    I sent an email regarding this matter using your app. Will it really help/work?

  • Helen Murphy says:

    Please make it illegal, another step in the right direction. Put them back where they should be, set them free x

  • Nan Newall says:

    THANK YOU, Mr. Richard Bloom, for introducing the bill “Orca welfare and safety act, which would make it illegal to hold orcas in captivity and use wild or captive bred orcas for entertainment. These sentient beings deserve to be rehabilitated and returned to the wild. We have come to regard life with disdain and disrespect. To quote Fred Mc Gran, “Cruelty has cursed the human family for countless ages. It is impossible for one to be cruel to animals and kind to humans. If children are permitted to be cruel to pets and other animals, they easily learn to get the same pleasure from the misery of fellow humans.” I believe if we become desensitized to animal pain and suffering, it is very easy to take the next step and become desensitized to human pain and suffering as well.

  • LB says:

    This is amazing!! Let’s get this passed!!!

  • Roxane Rothstein says:

    This would be wonderful!

  • Melissa Colwell says:

    This makes me so happy! I wished for this. It would be a wish come true.

  • This is brilliant news! The tables are turning! Everyone needs to get in contact with everyone they know in California with a link to this page to help get the bill passed. Once it is, it sets a precedent for all the other states to follow! Next stop Florida!! 🙂 H xx

  • sandra lenart says:

    I support this bill being passed and hope that someday there will be no animals held in captivity.Animals are not are our entertainment.

  • denise says:

    I pray for all the gentle souls trapped forever in captivity this law passes. They deserve to be free to swim the oceans where they belong.

  • kat tay says:

    This is great. I hope one day it would b illegal to keep any animal in captivity. The orcas r magnificent animals n should not b held in an area the size of a “bathtub” for them instead of the ocean where they can swim for miles

  • Lauren says:

    This is amazing news. Crossing my fingers and hoping Florida releases a similar bill!

  • Laurel says:

    I live in California. What can I do to help make sure this bill passes? People against it are so ignorant.

  • Susan Sampson says:

    I don’t live in California but totally support this new bill and I sure hope it passes!