Animal rights body argues that orcas are kept as slaves
An extraordinary lawsuit has been brought against the US chain of marine parks and oceanariums SeaWorld, in which five killer whales have been named as the complainants. The case has been filed by Peta – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals – and it argues that the orcas deserve the same constitutional protection from slavery as humans. The association argues that the killer whales are forced to live in tanks and perform daily. This is believed to be the first time a US court has heard legal arguments on animals receiving the same constitutional protection as humans. SeaWorld argues, however, that the case is a waste of time and resources.
“Neither orcas nor any other animal were included in the ‘We the people’… when the Constitution was adopted,” explained the marine park’s lawyer Theodore Shaw. The same legislation could be manipulated to ban, for example, the use of sniffer dogs at airports to detect drugs and bombs, he suggested.
[pictured: Killer whales near Unimak Island, Alaska]