In an appalling
display of its mercenary mindset, SeaWorld is fighting a federal charge
that it exposed its employees to risks “causing or likely to cause death
or serious physical harm,” which was laid after trainer Dawn Brancheau was
killed by the orca Tilikum last year. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) cited SeaWorld for a willful violation
of federal law and fined the company the maximum amount allowed. PETA supporters were outside OSHA’s
Florida office to stand up for the animals who live and die in cramped tanks at
SeaWorld.


Photo courtesy of Carla Wilson

Even though Tilikum
had killed twice before—and despite a history of trainers deaths,
hospitalizations, and injuries—SeaWorld’s attorney argued that Brancheau’s
death was merely an “unfortunate event” and that its training process
made interactions with killer whales “safe.” Yet, SeaWorld’s curator of animal
training acknowledged that these procedures couldn’t have saved Brancheau after
she was dragged into the water by Tilikum.

Government attorneys stated that
killer whales are “large, powerful and non-domesticated animals” with
the potential to cause serious physical harm or death to people who get
near them.
” They argued that “SeaWorld’s killer whale training
program doesn’t change the essential facts that harm or death to people is
possible. Their program doesn’t eliminate what SeaWorld itself recognizes as a
calculated risk.”

The hearing is expected to last all week. Stay tuned for updates.

 

Written by Jennifer O’Connor

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Article source: PETA Files

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