For Immediate Release:
February 3, 2014
David Perle 202-483-7382
SeaWorld has pulled a procedural maneuver to exclude from its proxy materials a shareholder resolution from PETA asking the amusement park to take steps toward developing coastal sanctuaries where the orcas can be rehabilitated and retired and the public can have the opportunity to observe them in a natural environment. Developing such coastal sanctuaries would advance the welfare of the orcas who are cruelly confined to concrete tanks at SeaWorld theme parks and create a safe environment for trainers, which would go a long way toward mending SeaWorld’s battered image after receiving unrelenting negative publicity for years and especially since the debut of the documentary film Blackfish.
The company is invoking a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rule to deprive shareholders of the opportunity to learn about PETA’s proposal, which would give the orcas some semblance of the freedom that they’ve been denied for years and allow SeaWorld to charge admission to observe the animals in their new habitat. A company can seek to exclude a proposal if a shareholder has not held stock in the company for at least one year prior to submission. SeaWorld went public on April 19, 2013—the same day that PETA became a stockholder. But the company is mailing the proxy materials and filing them with the SEC on April 17, 2014, making ownership of stock for one year prior to submission impossible. PETA has sent a letter to the SEC urging the agency to deny SeaWorld’s attempt to prevent the measure from being heard and voted on.
For more information, please visit PETA.org.