Vol. XLIV No. 2

Bigger than Blackfish: Lessons from Captive Orcas Demonstrate a Larger Problem with Animal Welfare Laws

Abstract: Recently, increased attention to the care that captive orcas receive at marine life parks has sparked a call for reform of the public display industry. In the face of this public outcry the nation’s leading marine life park, SeaWorld, recently announced a shift in company policy that will eventually end the practice of holding orcas in captivity. This, though, does not signal the end of problem. Many other animals face problems that are analogous to the exact issues that sparked change for captive orcas. This note will argue that broad reform of captivity standards are necessary and should include greater protections for all captive animals.

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