Target: Dr. Barbara Kohn, Senior Staff Veterinarian of APHIS
Goal: Ensure better care of aquatic life by imposing new rules on aquatic theme parks.
The USDA has proposed new rules that will positively affect all animals at aquatic parks. These changes to the Animal Welfare Act will help ensure that captive creatures can maintain good health without discomfort. After numerous reports of inhabitable living conditions, the standards for these mammals need to be raised and enforced. Urge the USDA to put these proposed regulations into action immediately.
Whether or not you are opposed to animals living in captivity, we can all agree that regulations need to change. Marine park cetaceans, such as dolphins and whales, often suffer from eye and skin problems. These issues are associated with poor water conditions and over-exposure to the sun. Sea World even puts black zinc oxide (sunblock) on their orcas so park attendees don’t notice the sun burns.
If the new USDA regulations are enacted then proper shading of outdoor pools would be mandatory. Light would have to be changed for indoor pools as well. A mandatory six hours of darkness would be enforced so that their indoor environment mimics their natural habitat. The rule would also implement new salinity standards and stop the use of over-chlorination.
All of the proposed changes to the Animal Welfare Act will benefit marine animals found at aquatic parks. Stricter regulations on parks will ensure that these animals are treated more humanely and live longer. Urge the USDA to pass these new rules into law so marine parks can start taking proper care of their animals.
Dear Dr. Kohn,
The USDA and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has recently proposed new amendments to the Animal Welfare Act regarding the care of animals at aquatic parks. The new changes would significantly increase the well-being of animals at marine parks. All around the United States, these captive animals suffer skin and eye diseases from improperly treated water and poor facilities. The new proposals regarding salinity, lighting, and temperature standards will reduce if not eliminate these problems entirely.
All animals belong in the wild, but if they are going to live in captivity then they need to be properly cared for. The suggested changes to the Animal Welfare Act will ensure this proper care. The parks will more closely mimic their natural environment, causing less stress and fewer health problems in these beloved mammals. I urge you to help these beautiful creatures by passing the proposed amendments immediately.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Leon7