People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the animal-rights group better known as PETA, will file suit in federal court today against SeaWorld, alleging that holding killer whales captive breaches the U.S. Constitution's prohibition of slavery. PETA lawyer Jeff Kerr told the Associated Press that the 13th amendment does not specifiy whether the ban on slavery applies to humans or animals. “By any definition, these orcas are slaves," Kerr said, "kidnapped from their homes, kept confined, denied everything that’s natural to them and forced to perform tricks for SeaWorld’s profit.” The suit is expected to name as plaintiffs five whales owned by SeaWorld, including Tilkium, the whale that killed SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010. SeaWorld says the suit is "baseless and in many ways offensive.” The company is fighting citations from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration made in the aftermath of Brancheau's death amid increasing concerns that working with whales is unsafe.
Read more at The Washington Post