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Killer whales sue Seaworld for 'slavery'

The case is being taken by PETA who argue that animals should have the same constitutional protections as humans.

A killer whale in Seaworld Orlando in Florida.
A killer whale in Seaworld Orlando in Florida.
Image: AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack

FIVE KILLER WHALES have been named as plaintiffs in a lawsuit against SeaWorld which argues that they deserve protection from slavery.

The case is being taken by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the controversial animal rights activist group.

PETA argue that the US constitutional right to freedom from slavery should also apply to animals.

SeaWorld’s legal team have said that the case is a waste of time and resources, according to the BBC, which quotes the marine park’s lawyer, Theodore Shaw, who told a court in San Diego: “Neither orcas nor any other animal were included in the ‘We the people’… when the Constitution was adopted.”

The animal rights group yesterday said that it was seeking the release of five orcas to a “more appropriate environment”, such as a coastal sanctuary, adding:

The plaintiffs in the case, Tilikum, Katina, Kasatka, Ulises, and Corky, were captured and taken from their ocean homes and families and are confined to the equivalent of concrete bathtubs, where they are forced to earn money for SeaWorld by performing for customers’ entertainment.

PETA say that it is the first time that a US court has had to consider whether constitutional rights apply to animals.

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