SeaWorld’s orca breeding ban could go to court

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baby Orca

SAN DIEGO – The public and media seemed surprised last week when the California Coastal Commission ordered SeaWorld San Diego to halt captive breeding of orcas as a condition of getting a permit to build a larger exhibit space for the 11 marine mammals.

But the commission’s decision to take the unprecedented step came after weeks of behind-the-scenes wrangling between Coastal Commission staff and SeaWorld attorneys over whether, in effect, the 1966 federal Animal Welfare Act gives the commission authority over the care and management of captive orcas, also known as killer whales, the Los Angeles Times reported.

If, as the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper is urging, SeaWorld takes the Coastal Commission to court seeking to overturn the anti-breeding condition, the dispute over that 1966 law, and other legal arcana about the relative authority of state vs. federal agencies over marine mammals, will be central.

SeaWorld officials have not said whether they plan litigation, just that all options are being considered.

Read the entire story at Los Angeles Times.

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  • Buffalo Bob

    Good. Take them to court. Good! How is it any of the concern of the California Coastal Commission and what could possibly be their rationale to justify banning breeding? Does it diminish the number of animals in the coastal waters? Does it harm an existing pod? Does it cause pollution or danger for boaters? All answers “no”. Take them to court!

  • Emmett McMahon

    Is it not abnormal to keep the bays separated from the girls ? I can understand part of this as there is no way to let the young ones to learn about living in the wild and probably a bigger problem would be a population explosion and what to do with the excess numbers. Some peoples solution would be to kill off the excess and can them.

    • Stu

      You don’t know very much about whales do you. Alaskan Indians used the fat for burning oil. The meat is very difficult to eat. You must acquire a taste for it. You just don’t can it and sell it. Besides, only the Eskimo and hunt and kill whales in the US. They all fall under the Mammal Act along with the pain in the neck Seals.

  • katjackson

    Its very interesting to hear both sides of the legal argument. Both have strong arguments “for” and “against”. It is my opinion that the CCC overreached. But, in the end its for the lawyers to argue and judges to judge.

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