A state legislator from Santa Monica is introducing a bill that would prohibit orca shows at SeaWorld in San Diego.
The bill by Assemblyman Richard Hershel Bloom, a Democrat, would make it illegal to use orcas “for performance or entertainment purposes.” It would also ban captive breeding done at SeaWorld of orcas, also known as killer whales.
The bill is supported by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and is prompted by the documentary “Blackfish,” which was highly critical of the use of orcas at SeaWorld parks and centered on the death of a trainer at the park in Orlando, Fla.
As state legislation, the bill would only apply to the San Diego park, the only park in the state with orca shows.
"These beautiful creatures are much too large and intelligent to be confined in small, concrete pens for their entire lives," Bloom said in a statement.
The Nashville, Tenn.-based CCA has operated Idaho’s largest prison for more than a decade, but last year, CCA officials acknowledged it had understaffed the Idaho Correctional Center by thousands of hours in violation of the state contract. CCA also said employees falsified reports to cover up the vacancies. The announcement came after an Associated Press investigation showed CCA sometimes listed guards as working 48 hours straight to meet minimum staffing requirements.
The Idaho State Police was asked to investigate the company last year but didn’t, until amid increasing political pressure, the governor ordered the agency to do so last month. Democratic state lawmakers asked the FBI to take up the case last month.
Idaho Department of Correction spokesman Jeff Ray confirmed Friday that the FBI met with department director Brent Reinke on Thursday to inform him about the investigation. Idaho State Police spokeswoman Teresa Baker said her agency was no longer involved with the investigation and the FBI has taken it over entirely.
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