In October last year, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals took SeaWorld to court on behalf of five killer whales, asking for their immediate release into the wild on the basis of slavery. A judge has tossed the claim out.
PETA wanted five whales released because keeping them in captivity at SeaWorld was the equivalent of slavery, which breached the 13th Amendment.
In other words, because the whales were kept alive for entertainment purposes at SeaWorld locations in the US, they were “slaves.”
What the animal rights group didn't consider, though – but the judge did – was that the Amendment only applies to humans, and definitely not to whales.
“The suit called for the immediate release of three killer whales held at a park in San Diego, California, and another two kept at a park in Orlando, Florida,” the Telegraph
“Yesterday US District Court Judge Jeffrey Miller threw out the case, ruling that the amendment only applied to humans,” adds the same media outlet.
PETA hasn't yet said whether it plans to appeal the decision or not, but it did say that it aimed to continue fighting on behalf of the whales, presumably not resting until they'd be set free.
SeaWorld, on the other hand, is happy that the case got thrown out because it was a complete waste of time and of the taxpayers' money, ridiculous and unfounded as it was.
PETA spokesman David Perle vouched to continue the fight until “the inevitable day when all animals will be free from enslavement for human amusement,” the Telegraph reports.
“Today's decision does not change the fact that the orcas who once lived naturally wild and free, are today kept as slaves by SeaWorld,” Perle added.
“SeaWorld remains the standard for zoological stewardship of marine animals and we reject any challenge to the conditions and quality of care for these remarkable animals,” David Koontz of SeaWorld said in a separate statement.