SeaWorld Entertainment Inc said on Thursday that it will take legal action against the California Coastal Commission after it imposed a ban on killer whale breeding at SeaWorld San Diego.
“By imposing broad new jurisdiction over all future SeaWorld marine animal projects, as well as aquarium projects elsewhere in the state, the commission has overstepped both federal and California law,” said Joel Manby, President and Chief Executive Officer of SeaWorld.
The California Coastal Commission declined to comment.
The move follows an approval by the Californian authorities to expand SeaWorld San Diego’s orca habitat on the condition that the company ceases its captive breeding program.
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) hailed the ruling as a step toward ending orca captivity in California.
The Orlando, Florida-based company has faced heated criticism and declining business since the 2013 documentary “Blackfish” presented a dim view of how the company treated orcas.
(Reporting by Mansi Goenka in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)