Lawmakers Table Bill to Stop Killer Whale Shows

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A California bill that sought to ban killer whale shows at SeaWorld San Diego has been put on hold, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be another effort to shut down shows in the future. In the meantime, debate over the shows driven by a popular documentary continues. NBC 7’s Gene Cubbison reports.

    A California bill that sought to end killer whale shows at SeaWorld San Diego and phase out orcas in captivity has been put on hold, meaning it's dead for the year.

    The Parks and Wildlife Committee held the first hearing for AB2140 Tuesday morning. At the hearing, the bill's author, Democrat Richard Bloom of Santa Monica, agreed to revisit his proposal after further study.

    Bill Proposing Ban on Orcas Tabled in

    [DGO] Bill Proposing Ban on Orcas Tabled in
    NBC 7's Sherene Tagharobi reports on the decision by lawmakers in Sacramento to delay any decision on a bill that would effectively end killer whale shows at SeaWorld San Diego.

    Bloom says lawmakers weren't ready to vote on the bill and that the discussion to date has been fueled by fear and misinformation.

    The bill was inspired by the 2013 documentary "Blackfish." The filmmakers argue that captivity and mistreatment of orcas make them aggressive and has led to attacks on trainers. The bill's backers say killer whales are too large and intelligent for captivity,

    SeaWorld Fights Orca Show Ban Bill

    [DGO]SeaWorld Fights Orca Show Ban Bill
    With attendance down 13 percent since the movie “Blackfish,” SeaWorld is facing another hurdle: A bill in the California state legislature that would ban killer whale shows. NBC 7’s Gene Cubbison shares what SeaWorld is doing to garner support both in San Diego and Sacramento.

    SeaWorld says the animals are well-treated and help conservation through research.

    Council Honors SeaWorld despite Protest

    [DGO]Council Honors SeaWorld despite Protest
    On Tuesday, San Diego City Council honored SeaWorld's 50th anniversary with a proclamation. But outside City Hall, people protesting for the fair treatment of animals said the city isn’t listening. NBC 7's Elena Gomez reports.

    Besides ending killer whale shows, AB2140 would have also banned captive breeding and the import and export of killer whales. Under the measure, SeaWorld would have kept its 10 orcas in a large sea pen until they died.

    "If these whales had to move to a sea pen where we can’t control the quality of the water, the temperature of the water, the level of the water, not to mention all the diseases that live in the ocean, that would be possibly, potentially life-threatening," former trainer Kyle Kittleson told NBC 7 Tuesday.

    In a statement released Tuesday, Chamber of Commerce President and former San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders applauded the committee's decision to table the bill. Sanders called SeaWorld a "pillar" of San Diego's economy.

    "We work hard every day at the Chamber to create jobs and expand our economy. SeaWorld is an integral part of the San Diego community because of the research efforts they lead and the jobs that they create," he said in the statement.

    People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) released its own statement. PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk said although the bill is stalled for now, the issue is still alive.

    "The public has learned how orcas suffer psychologically, succumb to premature deaths, and lash out in frustration and aggression in SeaWorld's orca pits, and they've responded with lower attendance levels, public protests, and legislation," Newkirk said in the release.

    Dozens of animal rights activists packed the hearing room to support the bill, which will not be taken up again until possibly sometime next year.