Verdict Blocks SeaWorld Orca Shows

Trainers not allowed close contact

Captive killer whale

Captive killer whale     Photo: PicsByZuzanna/Flickr

A decision made by Administrative Law Judge Kenneth Welsch yesterday in an Orlando courtroom will fundamentally change SeaWorld's killer whale shows. In a landmark case, Judge Welsch ruled in favor of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), concluding that the only way to keep Seaworld trainers safe is to either keep them away from close contact with the killer whales (which means no waterwork in the pools with them during shows), or to use physical barriers or other safety modifications to provide the same level of protection. The ruling comes in response to several Orca trainer deaths.

Read Tim Zimmermann's coverage of the verdict at Outside.

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