You may have heard about the great news concerning killer whales (also known as orcas) in California, but just in case you didn’t, we’ll do a quick recap for you.
Nearly 2 weeks ago, California became the first state in America to ban the breeding of killer whales and the use of the animals in theatrical shows (cue the applause). Under the new law, which goes into effect next year, killer whales that were born into captivity may remain in the state, but can only be used for “educational purposes”.
This move came after the extended backlash following the documentary ‘Blackfish’ after its release in 2013. The 90 minute doco shows the practice of capturing young killer whales in the wild during the 1970s, and casts a shadow over the practices of SeaWorld and how they raise the whales in dark and cramped conditions. It also recounted the death of Dawn Brancheau, a veteran SeaWorld trainer, after she was attacked by a killer whale in 2010.
The documentary has impacted the popularity of SeaWorld dramatically, and with the passing of this new law comes a new era for the rights of marine life.
Whilst Australia doesn’t have any killer whales in captivity, we do have dolphins. Blackfish has taught us that keeping intelligent, social and migratory animals like whales and dolphins in a captive environment is cruel – so why do dolphin attractions still exist in Australia?
For a country that has a strong stance against animal cruelty, how can we judge the actions and practices of other countries when we support cruelty in our own backyard?
Be in the know so that you’re not paying for cruelty against dolphins when you travel down the coast (hint: the marine park is in Coffs Harbour). Stay tuned for our next post regarding unethical dolphin attractions in Australia!