“Blackfish” may have moved viewers and supporters of banning orca shows at SeaWorld, but it had no clout Tuesday in Sacramento.
Assemblyman Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica, had introduced the legislation after attention given the “Blackfish” documentary on CNN and elsewhere.
KPBS reported via The Associated Press: “AB2140 .. will be revisited in the next year after a study is conducted.”
Democratic Assemblyman Anthony Rendon of Lakewood, chairman of the committee, “said the issue of killer whales in captivity is too complex to be decided after a hearing of less than two hours,” the Los Angeles Times reported.
Fox 40 TV in Sacramento reported that committee members were “greeted with a packed hearing room on the fourth floor of the state Capitol. Dozens were crammed into the hallway outside the room, watching committee members and speakers on monitors.”
A short time after testimony began, Fox 40 said, the panel decided to hold the bill for interim study, “saying they need more time to study the details of the bill and the impacts on the orcas.”
An editorial published in Tuesday’s Sacramento Bee opposed the bill, saying:
“If the animal advocacy groups supporting proposed legislation to ban orcas in captivity have their way, orca shows at SeaWorld would be shut down permanently. But don’t believe that it will be a ‘Free Willy’ ending; a ban could do real harm to the very animals it seeks to protect. … SeaWorld’s orcas would remain at the park but be deprived of both the exercise they get from training and performing and the social lives these creatures have now. …
“It would also mean that millions of people – 4.6 million visited SeaWorld San Diego last year – wouldn’t make any connections with or learn about the marine mammals.”
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