Atlantic City Wins Big With Balloon Ban

PETA Recognizes City for New Law That Protects Turtles and Other Sea Animals From Discarded Helium Balloons

For Immediate Release:
February 28, 2017

Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

Atlantic City, N.J. – A Compassionate City Award—along with a box of sea turtle–shaped vegan chocolates—is on the way from PETA to Atlantic City in honor of a new law that prohibits the outdoor release of helium-filled balloons.

The ordinance, which passed unanimously on Wednesday after its introduction by City Council Member Frank M. Gilliam Jr., imposes fines of up to $500 for people who release these balloons, which can end up in the ocean. If they’re eaten by sea animals, they can block their digestive tracts and cause them to starve to death.

“Sea turtles and other marine animals deserve far better than to choke to death on a discarded helium balloon,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA hopes Atlantic City’s new law will inspire other cities to take steps to protect wildlife from balloons and other hazards, including netting around children’s beach toys and discarded fishing line and lures.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—encourages everyone to protect wildlife by properly disposing of trash, such as by keeping all garbage in tightly sealed chew-proof containers, rinsing out aluminum cans and putting the tops inside so that they can’t cut an animal’s tongue, crushing cans and cups, and cutting open empty cardboard and plastic containers so that small animals can’t get their faces or heads trapped inside them. PETA also encourages people to comb beaches collecting picnic trash and items such as hooks and filament left behind by anglers.

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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