The Orca Protection Act

(Photo: Assemblyman Richard Bloom and Assembly Speaker Emeritus Toni Atkins)

Governor Jerry Brown of California has signed into law the Orca Protection Act, thus bringing an end to the breeding and theatrical performance of captive orcas in the state.

The bill also bans the export of orcas, consistent with federal law, out of North America, thus taking a courageous first step toward a state and a nation that no longer hold orcas and other cetaceans in concrete tanks to the detriment of their well-being.

“An important feature of the bill is that it does permit the transport of orcas to other facilities in North America,” said Dr. Lori Marino, President of the Whale Sanctuary Project. “This will facilitate ongoing efforts to develop seaside sanctuaries for these animals as an alternative to living in tanks.”

The historic bill was authored by Assembly Member Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), who steered the bill through the Assembly without opposition from lobbying groups. It was approved on August 25th.

The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) was a co-sponsor of the legislation and played a key role moving the bill through the legislative process. Other co-sponsors were Samantha Berg, Carol Ray and John Hargrove.

The Whale Sanctuary Project also greatly appreciates the efforts made by Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, Speaker Emeritus Toni Atkins, Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De Leon, Senator Mark Leno and Senator Benjamin Allen on behalf of the orcas.