Over the last several months, the controversial documentary “Blackfish” has opened the world’s eyes to SeaWorld’s mistreatment of animals and has inspired many, including celebrities and performers, to boycott the parks. However, in light of recent events, it looks like “Blackfish” may have prompted an even more important and lasting response – the scrutiny of the U.S. government.
This week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture cited SeaWorld’s Orlando location for violating the Animal Welfare Act. While the parks are certainly guilty of much more inhumane things, the citation addressed the fact that SeaWorld was using expired veterinary materials and had failed to repair the crumbling flooring that animals are forced to perform on.
PETA was able to obtain a copy of the report filed after the January 13, 2014, inspection of SeaWorld Orlando. According to the report, officials found dozens of expired surgical sutures in the parks surgery room. These sutures, if used on an animal, could cause severe, even life-threatening, infections.
After the release of “Blackfish” in 2013, SeaWorld was fined for the same flooring issue and for failing to properly maintain a dolphin tank and an orca performance tank: all factors which the USDA determined would put animals at risk of injury.
PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders said “[t]he tiny tanks at SeaWorld are inherently cruel, and when the tanks and surrounding areas are also rusting, peeling, and flaking, they’re downright dangerous for the animals confined there.”
Photo Credit: Shutterstock
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