SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — SeaWorld San Diego would have to end its killer whale shows and remove 10 orcas from their tanks under a bill inspired by a documentary blasting the marine park's animal welfare practices.
The California Assembly is holding its first hearing on AB2140 Tuesday morning. The bill's backers say killer whales are too large and intelligent for captivity, while SeaWorld says the animals are well treated and help conservation through research.
The 2013 film "Blackfish" blames attacks and deaths of SeaWorld trainers on the mistreatment of the animals, increasing their aggression. SeaWorld calls the film anti-captivity propaganda.
The bill by Democratic Assemblyman Richard Bloom also bans the import and export of orcas. Under his measure, SeaWorld could keep the animals it has in a larger sea pen until they die.