SeaWorld Plays Dumb in Attempt to Block PETA’s Proposal

For Immediate Release:
March 17, 2017

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

As you may recall, PETA is working to present a shareholder resolution at SeaWorld’s annual meeting calling on the company to retire all captive orcas to seaside sanctuaries and replace captive-orca exhibits with virtual and augmented reality ones. The company’s attempts to thwart our efforts have reached a laughable new low.

SeaWorld’s lawyers are now complaining that the term “seaside sanctuaries” is vague and misleading because PETA has also referred to them as “coastal sanctuaries” and “ocean sanctuaries.” But as any third-grader (or anyone with access to a thesaurus) knows, these terms are synonymous. The company itself even used several other terms to refer to seaside sanctuaries at its last annual meeting, in response to a question submitted by actor Gillian Anderson on PETA’s behalf.

SeaWorld also makes the threadbare claim that the continued captivity of orcas can be excluded from a shareholder vote because it isn’t a “significant social policy issue”—even though it has been the subject of state and federal legislation and concern is so widespread that it has resulted in the company’s poor financial performance. SeaWorld also says that it’s addressing this significant policy issue by ending orca breeding, but as PETA points out, this does nothing to improve the lives of the 28 orcas it holds in the United States and abroad, who could potentially spend decades in cramped tanks.

PETA has sent the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission a letter objecting to these and other claims made by SeaWorld in the company’s latest attempt to omit our proposed shareholder resolution from its proxy materials.

“SeaWorld is desperately fighting every attempt to give the orcas languishing in its tanks the decent retirement that they deserve,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “But nothing will reverse the sea change of public opinion about the cruelty of keeping these animals in captivity—and SeaWorld’s profits will continue to suffer as a result.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—was among the first to purchase stock in SeaWorld when it became publicly available in 2013 so that we could challenge the corporation’s confinement of highly intelligent, social orcas to concrete cells. Since then, we’ve asked a question at every annual meeting, and we withdrew our last resolution when SeaWorld complied with the resolution to stop breeding orcas.

For more information, please visit PETA’s website SeaWorldOfHurt.com.

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