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California Bans Breeding Killer Whales and Holding Them in Captivity

Killler Whale Calf At SeaWorld San Diego
Mike Aguilera—SeaWorld San Diego/Getty Images In this handout photo provided by SeaWorld San Diego, mom and baby killer whale swim together at SeaWorld San Diego's Shamu Stadium December 4, 2014 in San Diego, California.

SeaWorld says the law is in keeping with changes it had already planned

California has banned breeding killer whales and keeping them in captivity.

The law, signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday, will allow those killer whales already in captivity to remain so, but will prohibit them from being used in any entertainment capacity—beginning in June, they must instead serve educational purposes, CNN reports. SeaWorld, which has a park in San Diego, said the limitation will not affect its new plan, as the company has decided to phase out the “Shamu shows” and cease breeding the killer whales, also known as orcas.

The legislation comes after several years of increasing criticism of SeaWorld, whose safety and humanitarian practices questioned by the 2013 documentary Blackfish.


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