USDA cites SeaWorld of Orlando for violating the Animal Welfare Act
by Megan Thompson
Categories: Animals, Causes.

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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About Megan Thompson

Megan is a healthy living and natural beauty advocate who is obsessed with sustainable gardening, food politics, human rights and animal protection. An L.A. native, she loves staying on top of the latest pop culture news and green lifestyle trends. When she is not writing, she loves going to the beach, hula hooping and working on upcycling projects.

View all posts by Megan Thompson →
  • Jenné @ The Nourishing Vegan

    Go USDA (and I don’t say that often)! I’m hoping that this concern for marine life at Seaworld will spill over to other animals that are cruelly treated in this country (factory farming, animal testing, homeless animals, etc…). Perhaps it will get people to look at other ways their lifestyle is causing unnecessary suffering. If Americans can get on board with that, we could be an example for the rest of the world.

  • Teresa Wagner

    Go get ‘em USDA! They deserve to be cited for far more than this, but whatever they are doing illegally I hope they get all coming to them. The world is watching SeaWorld, and we won’t stop until the dolphins and whales are out of the tanks.