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News, California, Santa Monica

Bloom Introduces AB 2140 To Phase Out Killer Whale Captivity In California

Assemblymember Richard Bloom represents Santa Monica in the state's 50th District.
Courtesy Image
Assemblymember Richard Bloom represents Santa Monica in the state's 50th District.

Posted Mar. 7, 2014, 12:38 pm

Brenton Garen / Editor-in-Chief

With the Santa Monica Pier as his backgdrop, Assemblyman Richard Bloom (Dem-50th District) on Friday morning announced he had introduced legislation that seeks to phase out killer whale, or orca, captivity in California.

The bill, AB 2140, named the Orca Welfare and Safety Act, will end performance-based entertainment and captive breeding programs in California.

The changes sought by the legislation would be the most comprehensive protections laws for orcas in captivity in the United States in over 40 years.

Joining Assemblymember Bloom at the press conference were Gabriela Cowperthwaite, Director of "Blackfish," the critically acclaimed documentary on orca captivity, Naomi Rose, Ph.D., Marine Mammal Scientist with the Animal Welfare Institute, and two former SeaWorld orca trainers, John Hargrove and Carol Ray.

Bloom said there was no justification for the continued captive display of orcas for entertainment purposes.

"These beautiful creatures are much too large and far too intelligent to be confined in small, concrete tanks for their entire lives,” Bloom said. “It is time to end the practice of keeping orcas captive for human amusement.”

Bloom said in their natural habitat, orcas are family-oriented, highly adaptable, socially-complex with cultural traditions and trail only humans as the most intelligent creatures on this planet.

"However, in captivity, they have shorter lifespans, show increased health problems, live in swimming pool sized habitat that are approximately one ten-thousandth the required size and demonstrate aggressive behavior towards one another and towards humans that has never been documented in the wild," Bloom said. "They simply do not belong in captivity.”

Bloom's 50th Assembly District comprises the communities of Agoura Hills, Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Hollywood, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica, Topanga, West Hollywood, and West Los Angeles.

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Mar. 7, 2014, 4:06:21 pm

Priorty One Get ReElected said...

Wow I though Waxman was a do-nothing dolt... Save the whales but screw all the human problems that need dealing with first.

Mar. 7, 2014, 5:35:03 pm

L. Warren said...

Thank goodness a legislator has the courage to step forward and deal with this inhumane practice. I applaud this action. To naysayers out there, don't put this legislator in a box. Just because he has the courage to work on this issue doesn't meant that he isn't working on other issues.

Mar. 7, 2014, 6:54:47 pm

Flash said...

Right on! this Bill is over due. Thank you Richard Bloom for caring enough to do something, for being in the position to do something, for creatures that can do little for themselves in their situation. I applaud you and bless you.

Mar. 7, 2014, 9:38:08 pm

Andre Ollivier said...

What's next the chimps and other apes in the zoos? The lions and big cats? I hope this bill doesn't make it out of committee. I hope the rest of the legislature see the slippery slope that the zealots are leading us to.

Mar. 7, 2014, 10:14:54 pm

Oji Memo said...

Has anyone read the AB2140 bill? All I can find is a proposal to change the verbiage of the California Fish and Game Code Section 701.3... responsibilities of the deputy director??? It has nothing to do with whales

Mar. 7, 2014, 10:32:50 pm

Bloomin onion said...

Funny, only 1 place in CA has whales and that's Sea World in San Diego. ONE place. Talk about a blow hole!

Mar. 8, 2014, 2:51:16 am

Bill Davis said...

To address your question of whether there should be Shamu Shows in this day and age... YES. These people say that the killer whale shows are entertainment... they are "entertaining" educational experiences. How else would you keep a 5 year old child interested for half an hour then by getting splashed? But it is what this 5 year old learns about the animals while having fun is what makes the difference. It is not only the children. I see how many adults are equally entertained AND educated while at the park (we frequent Sea World). It is important that everyone learns about all the animals and how we can change our way of thinking to protect our environment. We also have to remember the whales themselves are being stimulated while in the show... they are doing NATURAL activities... not forced into anything. There are times when some of the whales just do not want to be in the show... no one MAKES them to do anything. If it not FUN for the whales, the people watching will know it... it has to be fun for everyone. These intelligent animals who need to be challenged just as humans. Also, while being entertained and educated, we are spending money at the Sea World which directly goes into rescue operations for marine animals in distress... remember JJ the grey whale baby that was at the park a few years back? Him plus the HUNDREDS of animals that are rescued, rehabilitated and released... what about the ones that CANNOT be released?? Where do they go and who pays for all this? The everyday Joe who brings his family to Sea World supports this effort. Why do aquariums not keep dolphins or orca (kill whales)... The food bill is VERY EXPENSIVE as you feed them sushi restaurant grade fish.. and A LOT of it. It is not cheap... but again, the profit at the park goes to support these magnificent animals while also helping research and rescue too... oh and by the way, sustaining the corporation... all this while keeping it fun for everyone who visits. What about the sea pen idea for the whales... this is so cruel. This idea only solves the ego of people who think the whales are not happy. Remember, most of the whales at Sea World were born in captivity (no captured whales after 1988 / all bred). Would you release your golden retriever into the wild? They cannot survive in the wild. It is the same for captive born Sea World killer whales. Even KEIKO (Free Willy whale) that was released after millions of dollars in sea pen and training did not survive more than a year in the wild. The wild, even in a sea pen, is not an easy place to survive. So please do not be so short sighted and arrogant in our layman belief that being in the wild what is "right" for these whales. I cannot see how the media can take a movie like "Blackfish" full exaggerations and lies and call it a documentary... Let us all educate ourselves properly and not fall for the negative ideas that threaten all the good that Sea World brings the animals, our environment and us all.

Mar. 8, 2014, 12:26:03 pm

L. McCann said...

Some one here wrote and I quote; "It is not only the children. I see how many adults are equally entertained AND educated while at the park (we frequent Sea World). It is important that everyone learns about all the animals and how we can change our way of thinking to protect our environment." I say that there should be a zoo/park for humans who think like you do for our entertainment. What in the world are you thinking? Lets put you in a "Stupid Humans" park where others can toss you a bone or two to be educated and entertained. Let's strip you from your family and natural environment so we can learn your behavior patterns or not.

Mar. 8, 2014, 4:09:22 pm

Fran Ford said...

Do we really need abusement parks? Many of the big cats in zoos around the world are now living in prides in more natural safari parks. Not perfect but better. The least we can do is make sea pens for the whales already in captivity and stop artificial breeding.

Mar. 10, 2014, 5:35:07 pm

Delphinidae said...

I would love to see the bill because I am an animal avocate however there is no bill on record. Is missinformation your goal? There is no bill that has been introduced about Orca welfare as of reserching the CA Gov web page. Where did you get the information? What is the correct bill number for the bill? Do you people every vet anything any more?

Mar. 11, 2014, 12:39:33 pm

Dave said...

What's the difference between keeping a whale in captivity for entertainment and keeping a cow in captivity for food? Nothing. Passing this bill is a slippery slope and if you don't feel like conceding your right to eat animal products, don't support it.

Mar. 13, 2014, 7:56:51 am

To the dummy Bill Davis said...

How would a 5 year old learn the characteristics and habits of a whale? Well definitely not from a show that exploits and disrespects such majestic creatures. If you truly want the best for these animals or have any respect for them, then you will refrain from keeping these animals captive. You can't compare a whale to a dog. Dogs are cared for and have free roam. They desire human companionship. Orcas live is social groups and swim up to hundred of miles each day. Can sea world provide them that? And how can you tell that they are truly happy? I can prove that they are miserable; collapse dorsel fins, teeth scrapes, jaw popping due to stress and trying to escape, and premature death. If they are so healthy and "happy" then how can you explain the short lifespan of captive whales in comparison to those who live in the wild. AB2140 FTW

Mar. 18, 2014, 3:54:20 pm

DOA said...

Read the bill: It says nothing about ending ocra shows in California. It's just a basic amendment to the Dupty Director of Fish and Games job discription. This is how Bloom gets his name in the paper. you've been had. PETA is wrong. Think for yourselves,

Mar. 18, 2014, 7:52:00 pm

Scott Winnegrad said...

Thank you Assemblyman Bloom for your wisdom and courage to take on the ruthless powers that be. We need more compassion in our society, and less greed, particularly at the expense of nature and animal welfare. This momentum must be sustained, so that corporations wise up and start adapting educational programming that promotes better awareness of the challenges that we face when it comes to the impacts society has on our ecosystem.

Mar. 19, 2014, 11:15:56 am

J B said...

Free them. It's time and finally someone with power has a voice! A clear one.

Apr. 3, 2014, 8:02:19 am

Koa Kulani said...

I stopped going to anyplace that imprisons wild animals years ago. I especially do not agree with huge whales kept in small pools! Sea World is only concerned about revenue.

Apr. 3, 2014, 8:18:00 pm

JM Stevens said...

“Blackfish” the movie is BS… with fabricated lies and nonsense about SeaWorld. I worked for SeaWorld San Diego for 20 years…. I was privy to hear and see the CARE, the RESCUES, the LOVE and the EDUCATION programs for our kids, students and environmental stewardship of 2,000+ fauna. I am writing to express my opposition to AB 2140 (Bloom), the Orca Welfare and Safety Act. The proposed legislation, prompted by what I consider to be a biased movie, directly targets my company. I am a proud SeaWorld retired employee and excited that the park is celebrating 50 years as an accredited Zoo and Aquarium (as is the San Diego Zoo and over 200 active zoos and aquariums in your neighborhood, throughout the good ole’ USA). Please, don’t take judgment until you have the truthful facts. Questions? Ask me…

Apr. 4, 2014, 1:34:34 pm

Maria Keller said...

Save the beautiful Orcas.

Apr. 6, 2014, 10:36:35 pm

Sad said...

This whole thing is ludicrous. You want to save whales, and so you go for one city in the US, rather than look at international whaling laws. You harp about the travesties of SeaWorld, but you point to a "documentary" that based all their arguments on emotional fabrications and distortion of actual events. Basically, you'd rather be small-minded and pass a bill that is backed by something that belongs next to Michael Moore films as far as it holding unbiased truth, and cause an even worse legal precedent by allowing a law to be made based on emotional testimony rather than actually fact checking and verifying claims. Can't wait for the next shock-umentary to come out and cause such an upheaval due to publicity rather than actual, factual information. I bet half the people for this bill watched that Mermaids "documentary" and now believe there is a civilized culture living at the bottom of the ocean. Learn to think people...

Apr. 8, 2014, 10:35:25 pm

Julianne McCoy said...

Don't be fooled or swayed by comments here as some try to play games and portray things as they are not. do your own research, call and ask questions any time you are making a decision to express your rights or vote. This Assemblyman Boon took a brave step to take on this highly controversial issue now lets see him in action and see if he can get it passed for those who have no voice to comment or express themselves .

Apr. 10, 2014, 7:22:55 pm

Karen Estrada said...

I did a project based on this, I strongly believe that the orcas should have a large seapens to swim. They should let free from seaworld like nothing because then the orcas wouldn't be able to survive. Since they have been used to being feed by their trainers. They won't know how to hunt for food. It's I humane of seaworld to treat the mammals in such matter.

May. 20, 2014, 1:35:41 pm

Bob said...

Hi my name is bob nice bobby work

Nov. 6, 2014, 6:31:52 am

todd warner said...

Thank you Assemblyman Richard Bloom

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