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PETA lawsuit against SeaWorld says killer whales work in 'slave'-like conditions

killerwhale020812_optBY JOHN SOLTES
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

Five killer whales, with the help of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, have brought a lawsuit against SeaWorld in San Diego and Orlando for enduring "slave"-like conditions at the theme parks.

PETA, the controversial animal activist organization, claims that the orcas should hold the same constitutional rights as humans. Currently, to the surprise of some legal skeptics, a U.S. judge is considering the case.

“It was a landmark day in the U.S. District Court in San Diego today,” a PETA press release states. “For the first time ever, a federal court is considering whether or not the 13th Amendment, which prohibits slavery, applies to five orcas — Tilikum, Katina, Kasatka, Ulises and Corky — who are now incarcerated at SeaWorld amusement parks.”

Jeff Kerr, general counsel for PETA, said the decision by Judge Jeffrey Miller to consider the case is an historic event. “It’s a new frontier in civil rights,” Kerr said in a prepared statement. “Coercion, degradation and subjugation characterize slavery, and these orcas have endured all three.”

Theodore Shaw, a lawyer for SeaWorld, told the judge that “neither orcas nor any other animal were included in the ‘We the people’ … when the Constitution was adopted,” the BBC reports.

The judge will issue a ruling at a later date.

The lawsuit contends that the plaintiffs “were forcibly taken from their families and natural habitats, are held captive at SeaWorld San Diego and SeaWorld Orlando, denied everything that is natural to them, subjected to artificial insemination or sperm collection to breed performers for (the theme parks’) shows, and forced to perform, all for defendants’ profit.”

PETA is seeking an injunction so the whales can be freed from SeaWorld’s “bondage” and “barren concrete tanks in unnatural physical and social conditions.” Tilikum and Katina are located at the theme park in Orlando, while Corky, Kasatka and Ulises are located in San Diego.

Killer whales are the largest species in the dolphin family.

 
Comments (1)
1 Wednesday, 08 February 2012 15:14
scottie o
this is ridonculous

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