SeaWorld Ban On Circus-Like Orca Shows Is Only A Start

There Should Be A Ban On All Amusement Parks That Imprison & Exploit Marine Mammals Cheap

A Brief Commentary by Doug Draper

Posted March 18th, 2016 on Niagara At Large

This March 17th, a number of major media outlets in Canada and the United States reported a decision by SeaWorld to finally place a ban on breeding captive orcas (popularly known as killer whales) and on making them perform tricks for its park visitors as if it was a major victory in the ongoing war against animal abuse.

Animal advocates protest in front of Marineland amusement park in Niagara Falls, Ontario. File photo by Doug Draper

Animal advocates protest in front of Marineland amusement park in Niagara Falls, Ontario. File photo by Doug Draper

It is not.

As Julie Woodyer of ZooCheck Canada, an organization that has worked with other animal advocacy groups for decades to end the abuse of these magnificent animals, told me in a phone conversation about the SeaWorld ban this March 17th, orcas are not the only marine mammals parks like SeaWorld and Marineland in Niagara Falls, Ontario are exploiting.

There are dolphins, sea lions and one of the more recent favourites for the owners and operators of these amusement parks – beluga whales. And why, said Woodyer, should they be less subject to bans on their exploitation than orcas?

At the end of the day, it is the countless thousands of people that continue paying money to go to these parks that are allowing this form of animal exploitation to continue. It is they who should finally say; ‘No, I won’t go and I won’t take children there. These magnificent animals belong in their natural ocean habitats – not in an oversized tub of chlorinated water.

At the end of the day, we have to take the responsibility and blame, through the choices we make to support or not to support this kind of expertise with our money.

If we stop supporting this kind of exploitation of these wonderful animals, it won’t matter how lousy the new legislation Ontario’s government introduced at the end of this year for regulating parks with marine mammals.

The exploitation will end and we won’t need the government’s rules, however weak or strong.

Read ZooCheck’s analysis of Ontario’s “wishy-washy” captive marine mammal regulations by clicking . 

NOW IT IS YOUR TURN. Niagara At Large encourages you to share your views on this post. A reminder that we only post comments by individuals who share their first and last name with them.

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2 responses to “SeaWorld Ban On Circus-Like Orca Shows Is Only A Start

  1. Gail Benjafield

    It’s about time too. OK. I read the recent book on SeaWorld and its killer whales and will not flog more books on this site, as I know few pay attention. But, do read up online or in whatever way one chooses on this travesty.of animal welfare. I hear today too that the elephant riding ttourist industry is being asked to stop this, as the elephants are not well cared for. What can one say?


  2. cath ens-hurwood

    Zoos and marine parks and aquaria whose sole purpose it is to ‘entertain’ and most importantly to them, make money, are not going to give up easily and so, I agree Doug; it is the public at large that are equally culpable. Sadly, it is the voluntary, fundraising sanctuaries, rehabs and rescues that must pick up the pieces of this exploitive attitude when places such as Marineland, Seaworld close down or at least close down their animal-based exhibits ….and I hope they do!


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