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SeaWorld: California lawmaker to propose ban on all Orcas in captivity

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SeaWorld could honestly be looking at their worst nightmare as a California lawmaker is going to propose a legislation that will outlaw Shamu shows and end orcas in captivity. CBS 8 reported on March 7, 2014, that this could bring an end to the main focus of SeaWorld's reputation that began long ago.

State Assembly member Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica, is introducing the Orca Welfare and Safety Act on Friday. This act would in turn make it illegal to "hold in captivity, or use, a wild-caught or captive-bred orca for performance or entertainment purposes."

SEE: 'Blackfish' documentary - SeaWorld says film on killer whales is 'inaccurate'

The bill would also ban SeaWorld, or anyone, from performing artificial insemination of captive killer whales in California. This would then also block the import of orcas and orca semen from other states.

The proposed law would give violators a fine of up to $100,000 and/or six months stay in a county jail.

“There is no justification for the continued captive display of orcas for entertainment purposes,” Bloom declared in a written statement prior to a press conference to be held at the Santa Monica Pier. “These beautiful creatures are much too large and far too intelligent to be confined in small, concrete pens for their entire lives. It is time to end the practice of keeping orcas captive for human amusement.”

For the orcas already in captivity at SeaWorld, the legislation would require the park to actually have the killer whales "retire." The orcas could be on display for visitors to view, but the act would not allow them to actually perform.

SeaWorld is already dealing with a great number of problems and controversy due to the "Blackfish" documentary, but this could bring about such a greater issue.

Some other political figures have already spoken up and said they are preparing to vote "yes" on the bill put forward by Bloom. Lorena Gonzales of San Diego is one of them, and stated on Facebook that she wants a lot of changes at the theme park.

"SeaWorld's reputation of treating its workers poorly dates back to its opening 50 years ago. It's about time we continue this conversation about job quality and workplace safety at Sea World whether it involves groundskeepers, concessions workers or killer whale trainers. Recent evidence suggests its record with orcas isn't much better. I'm looking forward to having an honest conversation about Sea World's business practices and how they can really be an icon that makes San Diego proud."

The new bill would need a simple majority to pass, but SeaWorld would not be in trouble just by that. To be completely put in place, a lot more would have to happen, but Bloom is making sure that things get started.

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