Nashville Animal Advocacy Message Board › Urgent! Calling all veterinarians!
A friend of mine from PETA is trying to gather signatures from veterinarians across the country to ask the North American Veterinary Community (NAVC) to cancel a conference at SeaWorld. If you are interested, please comment with your name and title (i.e. Tricia Lebkuecher, DVM). Phone number or email address are optional. If you feel unsafe leaving this information on a public forum, please email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Below is the form letter PETA plans to use. Thanks so much!
Dear Mr. Bohn:
It has come to our attention that the North American Veterinary Community (NAVC) is encouraging veterinarians and veterinary technicians attending its conference next week to attend SeaWorld shows and observe SeaWorld's veterinary care and husbandry. As veterinarians ourselves, we are shocked that a veterinary association would encourage its conference attendees to visit a doomed, cruel enterprise that the public, financiers, performers, and young people have already written off.
Since the release of Blackfish, the critically acclaimed documentary that exposes SeaWorld's violent capture and inhumane confinement of orcas, millions of people and dozens of celebrities have sworn off the marine animal park. Numerous acts—including Willie Nelson, Cheap Trick, REO Speedwagon, Trisha Yearwood, Martina McBride, Barenaked Ladies, and 38 Special—have recently canceled performances in SeaWorld's upcoming concert series. Additionally, artists such as Joan Jett, Savage Garden, and Edward Winter have publicly called on the park to stop using their music in "Shamu Rocks"—the orca show at the park.
Many of the orcas at SeaWorld were captured from their family pods in the ocean. All are far-ranging animals, traveling as many as 100 miles per day in the wild. At SeaWorld, they are deprived of the opportunity to engage in almost any type of natural behavior and are kept in cement enclosures that to them are minuscule. Because of the constant confinement to tiny tanks, it's no surprise that they become neurotic, self-destructive, and downright dangerous.
The USDA has also repeatedly cited SeaWorld facilities for failing to comply with the minimal requirements of the federal Animal Welfare Act, including for injuries sustained by members of the public at the park. At least 25 orcas and dozens of dolphins have died at U.S. SeaWorld facilities from causes ranging from severe trauma and intestinal gangrene to chronic cardiovascular failure and necrosis of the cerebrum. The orcas break their teeth by chewing on the underwater steel bars in their tanks and are so stressed that they attack each other. You can see photos of one such orca injury here.
More and more members of the public are now beginning to realize that SeaWorld has one of the worst animal-care records in history. In light of this disturbing information, may we please hear from you that you will discontinue plans for NAVC conference attendees to visit SeaWorld?
We hope to hear from you soon. Feel free to contact me anytime if you have questions at [phone] or [primary e-mail address].