A California congressman announced Friday that he is planning federal legislation that aims to phase out the captivity of killer whales by banning breeding, importing and exporting the animals for public display.
Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff said he will introduce the Orca Responsibility and Care Advancement (ORCA) Act to ensure that orcas now at aquatic parks such as SeaWorld are the last ones and that when they die, no other whales will replace them.
The bill also would ban taking any whales from the wild. Although no orca has been captured in U.S. waters since 1976, Schiff says captive killer whales are bred.
He argues that keeping the animals in captivity is cruel.