10 days ago,
Dr. Naomi Rose discusses about laws regarding captive orcas in the United States. Dr. Rose is the marine mammal scientist for the Animal Welfare Institute in Washington, DC. Before that, twenty years as a marine mammal protection advocate at The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International. "The primary laws governing the facilities housing orca whales are the Animal Welfare Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The Animal Welfare Act establishes standards and specifications that the facility must follow and adhere to in order to house an orca whale in captivity. It establishes the standard of care required when handling, housing, or transporting orca whales and other marine mammals. The Marine Mammal Protection Act is aimed at protecting the whales from being unlawfully captured from the wild by prohibiting the taking of marine mammals without specific authorization. The MMPA requires a permit for the taking of a marine mammal, like an orca, from the wild. Permits may be issued for reasons such as for scientific research, public display, or for enhancing the survival or recovery of specific stocks. Along with the established federal laws, marine mammal facilities also have a system self-regulation. The two most prominent are The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and The Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums (AMMPA). Facilities may be accredited if they meet the standards the organization has established. These standards are typically higher than the minimum requirements established under government law." ~ Brief Summary of Laws Concerning Orcas in Captivity by Lauren Tierney.