A California bill seeking to ban killer whale shows at SeaWorld in San Diego has been put on hold as of Tuesday. According to the Los Angeles Times, an assembly committee has called for additional research on bill AB2140, originally proposed by Democrat Richard Bloom.
The Inquisitr previously reported that the bill, the “landmark Orca Welfare & Safety Act,” was written up by 50th District Assemblymen, Richard Bloom. Bloom reportedly wrote the bill as a result of the documentary Blackfish. Blackfish took viewers behind the scenes and gave them a look into the treatment and living conditions of killer whales.
The documentary caught the attention of millions, many of whom took the position claiming that the animals were not only being mistreated, but that they were causing more harm than good. Many organizations, such as PETA and other animal activist groups claim that the animals simply shouldn’t be kept in tanks for the public to view.
“These beautiful creatures are much too large and intelligent to be confined in small, concrete pens for their entire lives,” Bloom said.
Bloom’s bill reportedly would prohibit orcas from being used for “performance or entertainment purposes” and require SeaWorld to return the orcas to the wild “where possible.” The Los Angeles Times continued on to say that the bill stated when orcas can’t be released to the wild, then they must be “transferred to a sea pen.”
According to ABC News, dozens of animal rights activists packed the hearing room to support Bloom’s bill, though the bill was ultimately put on pause today because “lawmakers weren’t ready to vote” and that “the discussion to date has been fueled by fear and misinformation.” Fox5 San Diego continued on to state that the bill has been officially put on pause for at least another year:
“Assemblyman Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood), chairman of the Parks, Water and Wildlife Committee, said the issue of killer whales in captivity is too complex to be decided after a hearing of less than two hours. The chairman’s action, which did not require a vote, will keep the bill from coming up for a vote until at least mid-2015, Rendon said.”
Currently, SeaWorld San Diego houses 10 killer whales – four caught in the wild and another six who were born in captivity. While his bill was shelved for at least a year, Bloom says he welcomes the extra time saying that his bill is a “work in progress” and that he welcomed the opportunity for “additional dialogue.”