Calif. killer whale ban put on hold, committee says more research needed

By Kyle Johnson,

Legislation that seeks to ban killer whales from SeaWorld San Diego has been put on hold after the committee indicated that more study was needed into the issue.

The Parks, Water and Wildlife Committee chair Anthony Rendon said that it would be foolish to make a decision on the matter after a two-hour hearing, reports the Los Angeles Times. So the bill will be put on hold so an "interim study" can be done on the subject of killer whales in captivity.

The committee's decision to hold the bill didn't require a vote and means that the bill will be on hold until 2015. An Animal Welfare Institute marine mammal scientist, Naomi Rose, who supports the bill noted she had mixed emotions. She wasn't happy the bill was tabled, but it did mean at least there was a conversation over the use of killer whales in captivity.

The bill was introduced in early March by state legislator Richard Bloom who sought the ban of killer whales for "performance or entertainment purposes." SeaWorld would also have to release their orcas into the wild.

SeaWorld has argued that the bill would make it difficult to help orcas out in the wild, while a rep for the park, David Koontz, said Bloom was siding with "extreme animal rights activists" over the issue.

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