This is the next step that we had been waiting for in legislation to end cetacean captivity. California Coastal Commission has banned Seaworld from breeding orcas in captivity, in a not-so-surprising ruling that is hugely well received within the anti-cap movement.
Seaworld have responded by saying, “Breeding is a natural, fundamental and important part of an animal’s life and depriving a social animal of the right to reproduce is inhumane”.
The irony (and blatant audacity) of that statement is not lost on anti-cap campaigners who have been calling for Seaworld to stop breeding – and in far too many cases in-breeding – these highly evolved mammals in captivity for some years now. The documentary Blackfish (2013) highlighted Seaworld’s alleged dubious breeding practices. These involve Seaworld trainers having to manually stimulate their captive orca to produce semen which is then stored for further breeding of captive orca.
Between 1956 and 1972, various entities including Don Goldsberry of Sea world Inc. captured hundreds of orca from the Pacific northwest area of the United States. In 1970, Goldsberry rounded up orca in the Penn Cove area, near Puget Sound, in Washington State using speed boats and nets. This process was filmed. They took young orca from their Southern Resident families to stock their ever-expanding marine parks, using methods that were unscientific and inhumane, at best. They made hundreds of thousands of dollars off the back of this process.
Almost as many orca died as were taken, during the 1970 captures (4/5 died, 7 were captured). Those involved attempted to hide the dead mammals using stones to weigh their bodies down in the water. It suggests they knew what they were doing, and had perhaps plenty of experience of hiding dead orca. Footage of these wild captures can be found in this fascinating documentary here.
Lolita was one of the orca taken captive in 1970 and is the sole survivor of this event, still languishing at Miami Seaquarium. Her Southern Resident pod (or family) still survive in the Puget Sound bay area, including her mother (Ocean Sun: L-25) who was born in 1928! They are known to the conservationists who study them as the L-Pod, which has around 40 clan members. Lolita should be with her family, but she remains captive four decades later.
In 1972, the ‘Marine Mammal Protection Act’ came into effect, partly created in an effort to protect and preserve the rapidly declining numbers of Orcinus orca in the Puget Sound bay area (some might suggest it was as a direct result of Seaworld’s wild capture activities). Conservationists have since been working hard to try to preserve these wild populations of orca in and around US Pacific northwest coast area. Orca are protected and are on the Endangered Species list. This fact makes the knowledge that at least 300 wild orca were taken captive between 1956-1972 from this very area, and were sold and shipped to so many marine parks, all the more sickening to digest.
[More information on the wild orca captures in Puget Sound can be found here – Seaworldofhurt.com.]
Seaworld took to importing and then breeding their own stock animals for entertainment purposes wherever possible. As these animals – stolen from the wild – died off early in captivity, so they worked to replace them with captive-bred animals. Many have died soon after birth. Many have died a year or so after birth. Many are taken from their mothers in captivity (wild orca remain with their family/social units all of their lives).
Many would argue that false killer whales are not suited to a life of captivity; we might all suggest that these highly evolved, powerful and naturally active animals are unsuited to a life in small chlorine tanks, suffering constant interference, vibration and noise from huge audiences and other human activity.
The fact that Seaworld have now been banned from breeding these animals – and they were banned from taking wild orca decades ago – must surely spell the end of orca captivity? I truly hope that is the case.
Thank you for reading.
Breaking News: Nepalese Organizers Announce an End to the World’s Bloodiest Animal Sacrifice Spectacle · A Humane Nation
This is a wonderful and amazing result! It proves – despite nay-sayers and those with no conscience or compassion – that petitions, protest, global exposure and condemnation and a ton of pressure can create beautiful and positive change for the better! Kudos to all who helped create this change. This horror has been banned. Let’s keep it that way.
There are so many more horrors to end…
Much respect and admiration for this land-owner, who appears to have stood his ground in the face of quite a disturbing level of high-handed strong-arming, finally using the law as a means to try to intimidate him into submission. The judge in this case clearly wasn’t under the hunt’s influence and ruled in his favour. It makes a pleasant change to see justice prevail. The next step must surely be for this brave land-owner to press charges against the hunt for trespass and damages.
This Devon-based hunt have evidently trampled onto someone’s land while a hunt is in progress. The owner of the land appears to have previously denied them access to his land for hunting purposes, but they have completely disrespected his refusal and arrived anyway. This suggests either a) the hunt could not control their hounds while trailing a scent (which would be usual) or b) they completely disregarded his wishes as the owner of the land and the hunt master decided they would go into his land regardless. Both scenarious are likely as this is the standard attitude of the sorts of people who populate a hunt; arrogance and ignorance in equal measure.
The hounds have apparently terrified children and attacked the owner’s cats and dogs, which again is standard behaviour, sadly. Too many cats and pet dogs have been attacked and terrorised (some have been killed) by out-of-control hounds while a hunt is in progress. It happens. More of those affected by idiotic hunts should report and prosecute for damages.
What stands out in this case is that the hunt have gone on a defensive attack of the land owner, to the point of pressing charges against him for demonstrating anger at the fact that they were there causing damage and terrorising his pets. They have caused him further undue and unacceptable stress and worry (of a court case) because he dared to refuse and then demanded they remove themselves and their hounds from his land. What does that tell us about the kind of person who is a hunt member/follower? These people are bullies. They intimidate others with threats and shows of superiority and entitlement. They appear to have the attitude that they can do what they like, wherever they like.
There is mounting video evidence of the same level of stupidity and arrogant behaviour of those who choose to hunt foxes, hares and various other native wild mammals (and trail with hounds). You will see a hunt master pulling a pack of hounds across a busy A-road, fully expecting all traffic to come to a stop for them. When hounds get hurt on roads he will blame the road-users (or following hunt sabs) and not the hunt. Hounds attack pet cats on a frequent basis. A hunt will seemingly always infer it is the cat-owners fault for not getting the cat out of harm’s way, and not the hunt itself.
Fox hunting and hare coarsing are outdated and barbaric ‘traditions’ and must be forced to die a miserable death, then consigned to the history books, much like a few other equally barbaric ‘traditions’. In the last forty years, we have lost half of the world’s wildlife. Speaking as a student of Zoology, I do not want nor expect to see that further decline as a direct result of wildlife persecution at human hands, yet that is precisely what is happening. In any situation where human behaviour deliberately impacts on wildlife numbers, such as fox hunting and hare coarsing (hunting with dogs), I believe we have every responsibility to ban and enforce the relevant laws to stop it continuing.
Unfortunately, the same entitled, arrogant bullies who run and attend hunts also appear to control (or at the very least have direct access to) local police. As a result, they will usually pull police in during a hunt in progress to intimidate and ‘control’ any hunt saboteurs following the hunt – the same hunt saboteurs who are attempting to enforce the laws on hunting with dogs! This is the utter irony and outrage of the skewed and poorly-enforced hunting ban in the UK. Hunts still use hounds to hunt foxes, under the guise of trail hunting or drag hunting, and they use our police (paid for with our taxes) to prevent sabs from enforcing the hunting laws. This is what we are fighting. This is the situation we are in with regards to hunting and hunters in the UK, and something has to give. The tossers in fancy dress on horseback need to go!
More land owners must have the strength and conviction to stand up to local hunts and refuse access. Those against hunting must speak out more and defend those who have been intimidated or affected by a hunt rampaging across their land and property, or attempting to bully a land owner into submission, as this article highlights.
Utterly tragic. Oil companies should be charged billions and Directors locked up for crimes against the environment. When will we learn to evolve and progress? Capitalism and profit be damned.