Today in San Diego, PETA is holding another press conference (note: shocking!). What makes this latest stunt particularly laughable are the claims being made and the people making the claims.
Basically, PETA has hit the bottom of the barrel with this one.
PETA is calling on the USDA to investigate SeaWorld San Diego based on observations by PETA’s veterinarian, who has only been a vet for 5 months and the head of The Dolphin Project, who was convicted of abusing dolphins under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
Yes, you read that correctly.
PETA the organization that has killed over 30,000 cats and dogs.
PETA the organization that in 2013 killed 82% of the animals that were left at its shelter.
PETA the organization whose employees were found guilty of illegally dumping the bodies of the cats and dogs that they killed.
This same organization is breathlessly calling for an investigation based on the observations of Dr. Heather Rally, barely out of veterinary school, and Richard O’Barry, who was actually convicted of dolphin abuse. This guy was actually convicted of abusing animals. He is now accusing someone of abusing animals.
It’s a head scratcher.
But it gets better.
What PETA either doesn’t know, or doesn’t want you to know is that SeaWorld is regularly inspected and governed by two federal agencies and two 3rd party accreditation groups. On top of it all, PETA has made numerous allegations in the past to the same government body.
They have all been thrown out as frivolous.
So despite PETA’s never-ending idiocy, let’s turn this into a learning opportunity. There are many governing bodies that regularly inspect and oversee facilities like SeaWorld San Diego. They are charged with making sure these facilities meet a high standard and that animals at these facilities are well cared for.
Let’s take a look at the respectable entities that really care about the wellbeing of these animals:
This department of the Federal Government performs unannounced inspections at all facilities that have licenses to ensure that they are operating and complying with standards of care.
- Animal care inspectors regularly conduct pre-licensing and compliance inspections. The Animal Welfare Act requires that regulated research facilities be inspected at least once per year. Additionally,
- Animal care inspectors use a risk based inspection system to determine inspection frequency at all regulated facilities.
In addition to routine inspections, animal care inspectors follow up on complaints from the public regarding regulated facilities, including reports that facilities are conducting regulated activity without an Animal Welfare Act license or registration.
This is the governing body that has to deal with these frivolous complaints.
This department of the Federal Government has a division that oversees Marine Animals that are rescued, and then inspect facilities like SeaWorld who care for rescued animals. They are responsible for tracking
- wild captures
NOAA has worked with SeaWorld since its founding in 1970, and continues to inspect and work with SeaWorld’s experienced teams to rescue, rehabilitate, and return animals to the wild.
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums is an voluntary organization that Zoological organizations like SeaWorld can choose to be part of. If they choose to be seek accreditation by the AZA, they have to meet guidelines far stricter than the federal guidelines laid out by the USDA and NOAA. All SeaWorld parks are AZA accredited through a strict accreditation process that includes submitting its facilities to inspection.
The Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums is another voluntary organization that Marine Parks and Aquariums like SeaWorld can choose to be a part of. With its focus strictly on Marine Animals, this organization has even stricter guidelines for Marine Animals than the AZA, NOAA and USDA. All SeaWorld parks are members of the AMMPA and continue to innovate with the AMMPA organization on new ways to set the standard of care.
An activist organization with a track record like PETA, uses a veterinarian fresh out of college and an activist who has been convicted of crimes of abuse, neglect and endangerment against dolphins to make claims against SeaWorld with no proof. They call on the USDA to investigate. However, the USDA regularly investigates SeaWorld and has previously thrown out multiple claims from PETA.
This is harassment. PETA just thinks you are too stupid to notice.
So who do you trust?