California bill ending SeaWorld orca shows stalls

By Fenit Nirappil

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, April 8 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

Ava Kotler, 12, left, her sister Kirra, 10, right, and Lizzie Gordon, 11, center, helped deliver petitions to for a bill that bans holding killer whales for performance and entertainment purposes, Monday, April 7, 2014, at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif. Supporters of the bill, AB2140 by Assemblyman Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica, criticizes the negative aspects of captive orcas at Sea World. The bill will go before the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee Tuesday. Actor Eric Balfour, background second from left, and his fiancee, Erin Chiamulon where at the Capitol to support the measure.

Rich Pedroncelli, Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California bill that sought to end killer whale shows at SeaWorld in San Diego and phase out keeping them in captivity has been put on hold, meaning it's dead for the year.

The bill's author, Democrat Richard Bloom of Santa Monica, agreed on Tuesday during the first committee hearing for AB2140 to revisit his proposal after further study.

He says lawmakers weren't ready to vote and that the discussion to date has been fueled by fear and misinformation.

Bloom was inspired by the documentary "Blackfish." The filmmakers argue that captivity and mistreatment of orcas make the animals aggressive and has led to attacks on trainers.

Dozens of animal rights activists packed the hearing room to support the bill, which will not be taken up again until sometime next year.

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