Victory: No SeaQuest on Long Island

PETA and LION Celebrate as Aquarium Withdraws Permit Application

For Immediate Release:
May 17, 2019

David Perle 202-483-7382

Oyster Bay, N.Y. – Following a campaign by PETA and Long Island Orchestrating for Nature (LION) that included spirited protests, appeals to town officials, support from Alec Baldwin, and testimonies at town board meetings, SeaQuest has withdrawn its application to open an aquarium inside the Westfield Sunrise mall.

“SeaQuest’s history is filled with dead and dying animals and violations of animal-welfare laws,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “Every city that refuses to let SeaQuest set up shop is making the world a safer place for animals, who deserve better than to be used in sleazy shopping-mall petting zoos.”

Just last month, SeaQuest’s license to possess and display numerous animals was revoked in Colorado after the company’s Littleton, Colorado, location—where at least 41 people have been injured by animals—racked up eight citations for violations of state laws in just six months. Its violations include unlawfully importing a sloth without the required permit and failing to report the death of a bird who apparently drowned in a water bowl.

Shortly thereafter, SeaQuest’s exotic-animal permit for its Las Vegas location was revoked because the aquarium possessed unpermitted otters and coatimundis. Former employees at that location have alleged that birds were stepped on and killed, turtles were crushed by children, and an octopus died after being boiled alive in a tank. One former staffer even claimed that he saw hundreds of animals die there.

PETA—along with the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida and a local activist—is suing the city of Fort Lauderdale to challenge its issuance of a zoning permit for a proposed new SeaQuest aquarium there.

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

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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