Second Government Slap-Down Over Unsafe Working Conditions at Seaworld Orca Prison

PETA Protest Points Out That Despite Trainer’s Violent Death in 2010, Park Still Permits Direct Contact Between Trainers and Orcas

For Immediate Release:
June 13, 2013

Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

San Antonio, Texas – In light of SeaWorld Orlando’s new $38,500 fine—issued by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) earlier this week because the park has continued to allow trainers to have direct contact with orcas during “drywork” (when whales come out of the pool or alongside the stage near trainers), a practice that has continued at all three SeaWorld parks despite OSHA’s prohibition on direct contact with orcas—PETA members will descend on SeaWorld on Friday and encourage would-be visitors to the park to choose a less cruel and less dangerous form of entertainment.

When:   Friday, June 14, 12 noon

Where:  Outside SeaWorld, at the intersection of N. Ellison Drive and Westover Hills Boulevard, San Antonio

“SeaWorld has learned nothing from Dawn Brancheau’s death: Its trainers are still interacting directly with—and even hugging and kissing—orcas while performing exactly the type of work that Brancheau was doing when she was killed,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Delcianna Winders. “If families care about animal—and human—welfare and safety, they need to stay far away from the dismal tanks at SeaWorld.”

Orcas at SeaWorld are confined to small concrete tanks that, to them, are the size of bathtubs, where they are forced to perform circus-style tricks for food. This constant stress and deprivation leads these intelligent animals to lash out: SeaWorld’s own corporate incident log lists more than 100 incidents of orca aggression, and far more incidents go unreported. During the OSHA hearings, government attorneys revealed incident after incident of orca aggression that were left out of the log, including the attack leading to Brancheau’s death and attacks by an orca who had a penchant for grabbing trainers’ ponytails.

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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