Thursday, September 22, 2011

"Killer Controversy: Why orcas should no longer be kept in captivity"

Naomi Rose of the Humane Society International has prepared a report about the deleterious effects of captivity on orcas. The Orca Coalition reports that it's been submitted to the judge in Morgan's case. It's not a peer-reviewed article, but it does review the scientific literature. I haven't checked all of the references, but I don't know how many are needed to convince. This has been a disastrous experiment, and needs to be put in the past.
We maintain that the only logical conclusion, after considering the preceding evidence, is that orcas do not belong in captivity. They do not thrive: they are physically harmed, living shorter lives, and they are psychologically harmed, injuring each other and humans in a way rarely or never observed in the wild.

...It is not justified to continue their display for entertainment or even for education, especially when that education is biased toward information that supports a corporate narrative rather than good science.

As long as the public buys tickets to see orcas perform, oceanaria are unlikely to voluntarily close orca exhibits. Therefore it is up to the public, as well as the media, the regulatory agencies, and the scientific community, to consider and weigh the evidence and make the only logical deduction. Orcas are too large, too intelligent, and too behaviorally and socially complex to adequately provide for in concrete enclosures. No more orcas should have to die prematurely; no more trainers should be put at risk. It is time to accept that we have been wrong in our assumptions. The orcas deserve no less (pp. 8-11).

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