At County Meeting, PETA to Push for Seaquarium Lease Termination

For Immediate Release:
October 15, 2021

Contact:
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Miami – The Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners is poised to vote on The Dolphin Company’s proposed takeover of the Miami Seaquarium’s lease on Tuesday—and PETA will attend the meeting to urge commissioners to reject the plan and throw out the Seaquarium’s lease altogether.

When:    Tuesday, October 19, 9:30 a.m.

Where:    Miami-Dade Commission Chambers, Stephen P. Clark Government Center, 111 N.W. First St., Miami

PETA will point out that the Seaquarium’s current operator, Palace Entertainment, has defaulted on the lease by failing to maintain the facility adequately and neglecting to care for the animals properly. Some of its egregious violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA)—including that the lone orca Lolita has recently suffered from eye lesions, been fed partially decomposed fish, and been forced to perform tricks that had likely injured her—were just exposed in a scathing 17-page report. Meanwhile, its apparent violations of state cruelty-to-animals laws remain under investigation by the state attorney’s office.

“Both Palace Entertainment and its predecessor failed to provide sensitive marine mammals like Lolita with the care that they must have and certainly deprived them of any semblance of a real life,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is asking the board of commissioners not to sign off on the suffering at the Seaquarium and to toss this lease into the recycling bin.”

At Tuesday’s meeting, PETA will ask that if the lease assignment is approved, the lease—at the very least—be updated to require that The Dolphin Company maintain the facility in compliance with the AWA. Currently, the lease agreement requires federal compliance only with the Marine Mammal Protection Act, a law that was amended nearly three decades ago to remove oversight of captive marine mammal care.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter,  Facebook, or Instagram.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind