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  • News Bill may ban SeaWorld San Diego from using Orcas



    SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A California lawmaker is proposing a bill that would mean the end of the road for SeaWorld San Diego's famed Shamu show.
    Democratic state assembly member Richard Bloom of Santa Monica says he felt compelled to draft this legislation after seeing the controversial documentary "Blackfish," which calls into question the safety of SeaWorld's trainers and its treatment of its killer whales.
    This bill would effectively end all performances by killer whales at California entertainment parks, which of course applies only to SeaWorld in San Diego.
    It would also ban captive breeding programs involving orcas and also prohibit importing and exporting orcas.
    As for those orcas which are already kept at SeaWorld, the legislation would require the park to essentially "retire" those killer whales, which would then be put on display for the public to view. However, they would not be allowed to perform.
    As for SeaWorld, which has repeatedly blasted the documentary "Blackfish" as propaganda, they have made no public comment on this proposed legislation.
    Democratic assembly member Lorena Gonzales of San Diego has already gone on the record, via social media, that she will most likely vote 'yes' on this bill.
    Gonzalez has posted on Facebook, "SeaWorld's reputation of treating its workers poorly dates back to its opening 50 years ago. It's about time we continue this conversation about job quality and workplace safety at Sea World whether it involves groundskeepers, concessions workers or killer whale trainers. Recent evidence suggests its record with orcas isn't much better. I'm looking forward to having an honest conversation about Sea World's business practices and how they can really be an icon that makes San Diego proud."
    While this bill needs only a simple majority to pass, realistically it could face an uphill battle in gaining passage. No hearing date for this legislation has been scheduled yet.

    Source: Bill may ban SeaWorld San Diego from using orcas - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

    There is a video at the source site.

    In short Sea World would not be able to use Orcas for shows nor could they import or export them from Ca.
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  • #2
    Re: Bill may ban SeaWorld San Diego from using Orcas

    I personally hope the law can pass, there is no need for Orca's to be in captivity.

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    • #3
      Re: Bill may ban SeaWorld San Diego from using Orcas

      Originally posted by jsmith11618 View Post
      I personally hope the law can pass, there is no need for Orca's to be in captivity.
      agreed

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      • #4
        Re: Bill may ban SeaWorld San Diego from using Orcas

        This compels me to keep in mind politicians are ignorant.
        Be Cool Stay in School!
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        • #5
          Re: Bill may ban SeaWorld San Diego from using Orcas

          This law sounds like someone watched Black Fish and then said we should right a bill to ban said actions in documentary without realizing that most of this happened at Orlando or 80% of the documentary was faked. I do agree that those animals need larger habitas but lawmakers do not need to spend time writing a bill about one theme park when there are larger "fish to fry" here in CA.
          Last edited by brianpinsky; 03-10-2014, 11:20 AM.
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          • #6
            Re: Bill may ban SeaWorld San Diego from using Orcas

            Originally posted by swampymarsh View Post
            This compels me to keep in mind politicians are ignorant.
            The bill seems reasonable to me, and will eventually bring a close to captive Orca's in California, its a start. Ideally I'd like it on a national level, but doubtful the feds have any interest in doing so.

            I don't have an issue of animals being in captivity when a reasonable enclosure can be built and mimic their natural environment and allow for natural behaviors, this is not possible with Orca's, and there is no actual reasonable reason I an see as to why Orca's should continue to be kept in captivity.

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            • #7
              Re: Bill may ban SeaWorld San Diego from using Orcas

              Originally posted by swampymarsh View Post
              This compels me to keep in mind politicians are ignorant.
              Originally posted by brianpinsky View Post
              This law sounds like someone watched Black Fish and then said we should right a bill to ban said actions in documentary without realizing that most of this happened at Orlando or 80% of the documentary was faked. I do agree that those animals need larger habitas but lawmakers do not need to spend time righting a bill about one theme park when there are larger "fish to fry" here in CA.
              I Agread !........this state way out of control !!!
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              • #8
                Re: Bill may ban SeaWorld San Diego from using Orcas

                Sounds like that politician is doing this to garner some attention, votes, and campaign contributions.
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                • #9
                  Re: Bill may ban SeaWorld San Diego from using Orcas

                  Originally posted by Eagleman View Post
                  I Agread !........this state way out of control !!!
                  It's actually one of the most decent pieces of legislation I've seen a politician come up with.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Bill may ban SeaWorld San Diego from using Orcas

                    Let's not change the topic to the fringe critiques of a movie... simply stated ... a smart and socially advanced creature should not be imprisoned in tiny tanks for the amusement of humans. Rome no longer forces humans to fight one another to the death. Bull fighting in Catelonia/Spain is now banned. It is time to stop humans from manually masturbating orcas to keep a population of show whales from growing.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Bill may ban SeaWorld San Diego from using Orcas

                      Originally posted by jsmith11618 View Post
                      It's actually one of the most decent pieces of legislation I've seen a politician come up with.
                      That's, like, just your personal opinion, man.
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                      • #12
                        Re: Bill may ban SeaWorld San Diego from using Orcas

                        :ot:Please lets remember that this forum is not staging your political views about commenting on the news coming out of, in this case, Sea World San Diego.
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                        • #13
                          Re: Bill may ban SeaWorld San Diego from using Orcas

                          People need to understand that documentary movies are often one sided and while they feel like a news programs there is often a hidden (or not so hidden) agenda. While there could be some truth to Blackfish there has been a lot of questions raised about the validity of the info presented. If a law can be proposed based on the highly sensationalized nature of documentary style journalism what would be next?
                          I’m not saying that Orca’s should be held in captivity and forced to perform, I’m just suggesting that the Law makers need to ensure a fair, two sided approach to looking at this issue and not just use a movie to amend your civil policies.
                          Last edited by Meville; 03-12-2014, 09:51 AM.
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                          • #14
                            Re: Bill may ban SeaWorld San Diego from using Orcas

                            Look at Blackfish as the rebirth of the movement to end the perversion of Orca captivity. Whether there can be criticism of the assertions of the movie serves only Seaworld in their effort to distract the population from the underlying problem: (1) the death of Dawn Branchau, a Orca Trainer; and (2) the captivity of an intelligent animal for circus performances. The bill addresses both these problems.

                            Blackfish serves only to bring to the forefront a discussion of the dangers to human trainers working with an intelligent species held captive.
                            Last edited by kjorgensen43; 03-12-2014, 11:56 AM. Reason: spelling corrections

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                            • #15
                              Re: Bill may ban SeaWorld San Diego from using Orcas

                              Originally posted by kjorgensen43 View Post
                              Look at Blackfish as the rebirth of the movement to end the perverson of Orca captivity. Whether their can be criticism of the assertions of the movie serves only Seaworld in their effort to distract the population from the underlying problem: (1) the death of Dawn Branchau, a Orca Trainer; and (2) the captivity of an intelligent animal for circus performances. The bill addresses both these problems.

                              Blackfish serves only to bring to the forefront a discussion of the dangers to human trainers working with an intelligent species held captive.
                              Point taken, however when the general population views a documentary like Blackfish as "truth" their initial reaction would be calls for sweeping reform and change. The initial opinion is formed by the movies sensational tactics and once that 'message' is out there it takes a lot of information to the contrary to sway an individual’s opinion back to a neutral view. The issue is compounded by our society of "all news all the time" and pseudo news stories that live on social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter.

                              For example, an article Headline on the Huffington post could read: Movie Blackfish prompts call for change at amusement park. As with most media outlets the Huffington post requires you to click further to see the entire article, but what if I simply read the title and movie on with my day? Without further clarification I may assume that, even without seeing the movie, without working at SeaWorld, or even if even without ever stepping though the gates at SeaWorld that that Orcas are being mistreated. Is this the truth? It’s hard to say, but I can say that people are often forming their opinions based on information gathered like this and it can have a very bad effect on a democratic system that is made up of a system of popular opinion.

                              It is still unfortunate that Ms Branchau was killed and I’m sure there is an argument that SeaWorld is making millions exploiting these animals, but I’m not so sure that this legislation is the answer.
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                              • #16
                                Re: Bill may ban SeaWorld San Diego from using Orcas

                                Originally posted by Meville View Post
                                As with most media outlets the Huffington post requires you to click further to see the entire article, but what if I simply read the title and movie on with my day? Without further clarification I may assume that, even without seeing the movie, without working at SeaWorld, or even if even without ever stepping though the gates at SeaWorld that that Orcas are being mistreated. Is this the truth?
                                Point taken as well! Thank you. I agree that news is poorly distributed. SeaWorld is not guilt free in the way they distribute news. Seaworld has mastered this technique, i.e., look at the headlines Seaworld has sent out: "Blackfish contains inaccuracies" and "SeaWorld Sets the Truth". SeaWorld's Letter: From our Zoological Team | SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment

                                Their open letter manipulates "truth" and "inaccuracies". Look at the first point they provide in their open letter:

                                "SeaWorld does not capture killer whales in the wild."

                                Thus, if you only read the headline, it appears that SeaWorld is saying that Blackfish was inaccurate when they showed wild orcas being captured in the wild. However, Blackfish did accurately account for this activity. SeaWorld even admits this in their letter. They say they used to capture wild orcas, but they don't anymore because they now manually stimulate male orcas for their sperm and then inseminated into female orcas.

                                I can do this for each of SeaWorld's "truth" statements. The headlines relating to Blackfish "inaccuracies" were even raised by our beloved Micechat crew when they interviewed former SeaWorld Employees featured in the movie.

                                I respect your concern of creating legislation. I share your concern. But I think it is necessary here. Let me try to persuade you. We needed legislation to end human slavery, create civil rights, and to limit animal testing practices for the benefit of science. Spain legislated the termination of the bull fighting. In each of these cases, the legislative bodies found the practice despicable, but legislation was necessary because the entire population did not agree.

                                We should protect the safety of SeaWorld Orca trainers. There are many incidents of trainers being harmed by Orcas. This is an undisputed fact. It is also undisputed that the trainers are trained to assess the behaviors of orcas. If they sense that an animal is acting strange, they are instructed to stop and get out of the water. Thus, if legislation were drafted to prohibit the circus shows, trainers would not be in the water with the animals trying to read the mood of the animal. A mistake can mean harm to the trainer. Thus, if they are not engaged with the animal, they would not be at risk at being harmed.

                                If SeaWorld was prohibited from manually masturbating male orcas, the population of captured orcas would eventually end. There would eventually be no more captive orcas. The truth here is that wild orcas natural habitat is thousands of square miles in the ocean. No one disputes this fact.

                                I know that I can only make you believe legislation is necessary if you believe the activity is inherently evil, like enslaving a human being, treating a person differently because of sex, race or religion. In Spain, they believed the showmanship of slowly killing a drugged bull was bad.

                                I hope I changed your mind and maybe some others.
                                Last edited by kjorgensen43; 03-12-2014, 01:32 PM. Reason: grammar

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                                • #17
                                  Re: Bill may ban SeaWorld San Diego from using Orcas

                                  Originally posted by kjorgensen43 View Post
                                  I respect your concern of creating legislation. I share your concern. But I think it is necessary here. Let me try to persuade you. We needed legislation to end human slavery, create civil rights, and to limit animal testing practices for the benefit of science. Spain legislated the termination of the bull fighting. In each of these cases, the legislative bodies found the practice despicable, but legislation was necessary because the entire population did not agree.
                                  Comparing orca in captivity to human slavery and animal testing is, frankly, repugnant and borderline offensive to me. This issue isn't even in the same ballpark. Human slavery, even the most benign, was purely done for exploitation and animal testing was cruel and often times so inhumane as to be horrific and monstrous. Bull fighting? I can't even fathom why or how that enters into this discussion, so let's not even go there. In no way can you compare the care of cetaceans at SeaWorld to these past practices.

                                  (the following is in response to other posts, not necessarily your last one in particular. )

                                  SeaWorld sells a product; that product is education and conservation made fun. Yes, they make a profit...that's how our capitalist system works. It's how the system keeps going.

                                  No where in SeaWorld have I ever seen anything even resembling a "circus" or circus tricks. You know what happens when a circus animal doesn't want to perform? It is made to do so anyway. You know what happens when a cetacean doesn't want to perform? It just doesn't do so and no one forces them to. Because the cetaceans are treated with respect and love. I don't understand why that is so hard to swallow for most people. I've been there on days the cetaceans just weren't feeling it...and it was comical and the show went on without them. No big deal. The so called 'tricks' are as much for the animals as they are for the enlightenment and delight of the people watching.

                                  Originally posted by kjorgensen43 View Post
                                  We should protect the safety of SeaWorld Orca trainers. There are many incidents of trainers being harmed by Orcas. This is an undisputed fact. It is also undisputed that the trainers are trained to assess the behaviors of orcas. If they sense that an animal is acting strange, they are instructed to stop and get out of the water. Thus, if legislation were drafted to prohibit the circus shows, trainers would not be in the water with the animals trying to read the mood of the animal. A mistake can mean harm to the trainer. Thus, if they are not engaged with the animal, they would not be at risk at being harmed.
                                  This is the most spurious of all arguments. There are plenty of professions where there is danger involved, I don't see people drafting legislation to end NASA. There have been more deaths of astronauts over the years then there has ever been in SeaWorld or any other marine mammal park. Or how about NASCAR, same deal. Far more drivers have died than have died around cetaceans. The danger is well known to all trainers and they choose to do so anyway. Obviously there must be enough reward in it for them that they feel it is worth it.

                                  Originally posted by kjorgensen43 View Post
                                  If SeaWorld was prohibited from manually masturbating male orcas, the population of captured orcas would eventually end. There would eventually be no more captive orcas. The truth here is that wild orcas natural habitat is thousands of square miles in the ocean. No one disputes this fact.
                                  OK, well, that's true about the population of SeaWorld captive orca. If you stopped breeding them they'd all eventually die out and somewhere between 50 to 80 years there would be no more. Not sure what the point of that was, but then let's address the natural habitat issue. Yes, also true. Of course no one disputes that, it would be insane to do so. How does that prove captivity is evil? Orca swim hundreds of miles because they have to, not because they want to. Big difference. I have never seen any evidence that cetaceans in SeaWorld parks are crazy or suffering because they are not forced to swim hundreds of miles. The tanks they live in are more than big enough to meet the needs of the whales for activity, top speed swimming, socialization, medical needs, etc.

                                  Originally posted by kjorgensen43 View Post
                                  I know that I can only make you believe legislation is necessary if you believe the activity is inherently evil, like enslaving a human being, treating a person differently because of sex, race or religion. In Spain, they believed the showmanship of slowly killing a drugged bull was bad.

                                  I hope I changed your mind and maybe some others.
                                  There is no way I could ever in my right mind equate slavery, or discrimination, or the abhorrent practice of bullfighting with cetaceans at SeaWorld. There is nothing; no facts, no cruelty, nothing at all that gives me the sense that there is anything evil in the cetaceans at SeaWorld. Regardless of where they may have come from to begin with, they serve a vital function in awakening millions of people to the plight of our oceans and the animals we share our world with. Nothing I've ever experienced at the parks gives me a sense of anything different from that.

                                  Not only have you not changed my mind, you have reinforced in my mind that most who are against the parks don't really understand how vital their function is, or the realities of what they really do.

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                                  • #18
                                    Re: Bill may ban SeaWorld San Diego from using Orcas

                                    Comparing orca in captivity to human slavery and animal testing is, frankly, repugnant and borderline offensive to me. This issue isn't even in the same ballpark.
                                    I disagree. I think it is very similar and think you have to concede that it is at least in the same ball park:

                                    (former SeaWorld trainer Jeffrey Ventre)

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                                    Repugnant and offensive? Yes, if you believe that only humans should be treated humanely. No, if you take a look closely at the practice. Basic google searchs will show you that there are a lot of people, other than me, that make the same analogies. They say a picture can show a 1000 words. This Google map shows an Orca penned up in quarters akin to an inmate confined in a prison cell. Can you concede that this analogy is at least in the ballpark to slavery? I am not asking that you agree with me, I just looking for you to acknowledge that I am not making crazy talk here.

                                    let's address the natural habitat issue. Yes, also true. Of course no one disputes that, it would be insane to do so. How does that prove captivity is evil? Orca swim hundreds of miles because they have to, not because they want to. Big difference. I have never seen any evidence that cetaceans in SeaWorld parks are crazy or suffering because they are not forced to swim hundreds of miles. The tanks they live in are more than big enough to meet the needs of the whales for activity, top speed swimming, socialization, medical needs, etc.
                                    Yes, I am contending orca captivity is evil. Its about freedom. Your argument that seems to suggest that people would choose to be confined in prison because they get three squares and free time in the yard. Free medical benefits too. Folks would be able to tell their bosses, "Take this job and shove it!"

                                    Did you see the video of the wild orcas chasing the speed boat? Its a cool video. All the orcas you see have normal looking dorsal fins.

                                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s49lfSf_VMUSee

                                    I would rather fail with choice than to be confined in safety.

                                    Regardless of where they may have come from to begin with, they serve a vital function in awakening millions of people to the plight of our oceans and the animals we share our world with.
                                    SeaWorld does serve a vital role in educating the population of our oceans and animal life. I just think the one aspect to the park, orca captivity, should be abolished.

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                                    • #19
                                      Re: Bill may ban SeaWorld San Diego from using Orcas

                                      Originally posted by kjorgensen43 View Post
                                      I disagree. I think it is very similar and think you have to concede that it is at least in the same ball park:
                                      No I will not concede that point, for the reasons I gave in my original post. Your use of those things in comparison to the cetaceans at SeaWorld is absolutely not in any way correct. If we can't base a conversation on the realities of cetacean captivity without resorting to incorrect and deliberately emotionally manipulative rhetoric, then we can't have a true conversation about it at all.

                                      Originally posted by kjorgensen43 View Post
                                      Repugnant and offensive? Yes, if you believe that only humans should be treated humanely. No, if you take a look closely at the practice. Basic google searchs will show you that there are a lot of people, other than me, that make the same analogies. They say a picture can show a 1000 words. This Google map shows an Orca penned up in quarters akin to an inmate confined in a prison cell. Can you concede that this analogy is at least in the ballpark to slavery? I am not asking that you agree with me, I just looking for you to acknowledge that I am not making crazy talk here.
                                      I already addressed this issue so I'm not rehashing old ground. Go back and read my post.

                                      As for, "Basic google searchs will show you that there are a lot of people, other than me, that make the same analogies." Well, a lot of people don't believe in climate change still...pretty sure that's a real deal. Lot's of people don't believe the U.S. went to the moon...doesn't make them right either. Again, go back and re-read my post.

                                      Originally posted by kjorgensen43 View Post
                                      Yes, I am contending orca captivity is evil. Its about freedom. Your argument that seems to suggest that people would choose to be confined in prison because they get three squares and free time in the yard. Free medical benefits too. Folks would be able to tell their bosses, "Take this job and shove it!"
                                      So Orca should be free but not all other animals? I don't get it. Why is that? I'm trying to make sense of your internal logic here. If Orca should be free, shouldn't dolphins? Shouldn't sea Lions, otters, lions and tigers and bears (Oh My!) horses, cows, dogs, cats etc. etc. Where do you draw the line? What constitutes slavery for one animal but isn't slavery for another animal? Please enlighten me.

                                      Originally posted by kjorgensen43 View Post
                                      Did you see the video of the wild orcas chasing the speed boat? Its a cool video. All the orcas you see have normal looking dorsal fins.

                                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s49lfSf_VMUSee

                                      I would rather fail with choice than to be confined in safety.
                                      Wow, pretty neat video, until you realize that orca have been killed exhibiting this same behavior. Exactly why whale watching tours aren't a great idea. Habituate animals to humans in the wild and they are put into danger. This is why the Marine Mammal Protection Act is so important...by the way, did you know SeaWorld was instrumental in getting that little piece of legislation passed?

                                      Originally posted by kjorgensen43 View Post
                                      SeaWorld does serve a vital role in educating the population of our oceans and animal life.
                                      Best thing you've said so far and the only thing I can wholeheartedly agree with.

                                      Originally posted by kjorgensen43 View Post
                                      I just think the one aspect to the park, orca captivity, should be abolished.
                                      Fair enough. That is your opinion and you're welcome to it. I don't agree and neither do millions of others who choose to go to SeaWorld parks each year. I don't think we need legislation to force us to agree with your opinion.

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                                      • #20
                                        Re: Bill may ban SeaWorld San Diego from using Orcas

                                        Originally posted by kjorgensen43
                                        Repugnant and offensive? Yes, if you believe that only humans should be treated humanely. No, if you take a look closely at the practice. Basic google searchs will show you that there are a lot of people, other than me, that make the same analogies. They say a picture can show a 1000 words. This Google map shows an Orca penned up in quarters akin to an inmate confined in a prison cell. Can you concede that this analogy is at least in the ballpark to slavery? I am not asking that you agree with me, I just looking for you to acknowledge that I am not making crazy talk here.
                                        Did you happen to notice that that particular area was open? In your picture, you can clearly see another whale entering into that area through the gate. That small area seems like it was built as a bypass to access the second largest area of the complex that you just so happened to have CROPPED OUT.

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                                        Last edited by Spideyfreak110; 03-14-2014, 04:52 PM.

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