Feds Asked to Pull the Plug on SeaQuest in Woodbridge

PETA Says That History of Breaking the Law Is Ample Cause to Terminate Aquarium's License

For Immediate Release:
September 26, 2019

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Woodbridge, N.J. – This morning, PETA filed a request urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to terminate the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) exhibitor license held by SeaQuest—or, at the very least, to refuse to approve the addition of the aquarium and petting zoo’s proposed new locations in Woodbridge and elsewhere.

In the letter, PETA points out that the USDA may terminate an AWA license and refuse to add additional sites to an existing license if the licensee has been found to have violated any federal, state, or local laws pertaining to cruelty, transportation, ownership, neglect, or welfare of animals—and that SeaQuest has repeatedly violated these laws. This year alone, a SeaQuest manager in Colorado was charged with cruelty to animals after a sloth sustained serious burns to his face from a heat lamp, Colorado officials suspended the Littleton location’s state permit after a series of state law and permit violations, and SeaQuest’s Las Vegas aquarium was cited and fined $2,000 for illegally possessing four baby otters.

“In just a few years, SeaQuest’s rap sheet has grown to include a manager on trial for cruelty to animals and various violations of both local and state laws,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “PETA is calling on the USDA to yank this cruel petting zoo’s license.”

PETA has asked state officials to investigate SeaQuest thoroughly before issuing the company a permit, noting that New Jersey is a “no contact” state, meaning that it prohibits the public from feeding or holding regulated animals, and that encouraging such contact is the very business model of SeaQuest, an “interactive aquarium.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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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