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Bill to end SeaWorld killer whale shows is on hold

A piece of legislation that would end killer whale shows at SeaWorld San Diego was prolonged this week for at least another year.
Sea World visitors watch Killer Whales in San Diego.
Sea World visitors watch Killer Whales from an underwater viewing area, in San Diego, Calif., on July 17, 2013.

A bill designed to end killer whale shows at SeaWorld San Diego was suspended Tuesday for at least another year, according to the Associated Press.

Democratic State Assemblyman Richard Bloom of Santa Monica has agreed to revisit his bill. Consequently, lawmakers' vote on the legislation is stalled until mid-2015. If passed, the bill would also phase out the captive breeding of killer whales and require all orcas be retired to sea pens, according to the report.

Bloom recently drafted the bill after watching "Blackfish," a 2013 documentary that examined how whales' living conditions might cause them to lash out violently against their trainers. The film attempted to find an explanation to the three deaths caused by an aggressive killer whale.

In the wake of the movie's release, protesters called on SeaWorld and Southwest Airlines, which has worked with the theme park in recent years, to end the practice of using the whales for entertainment. Animal rights activists presented a petition earlier this year to Southwest and several other companies, asking their leaders to sever ties with SeaWorld. Petitioners asked for the release of the whales and changes to how SeaWorld treats the animals.

Representatives from the marine-life park defended the company's practices as responsible and denied the image of SeaWorld portrayed in the documentary. 

SeaWorld Entertainment will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year. The company, which operates 11 theme parks, reported preliminary revenue of about $1.46 billion in 2013, according to a previous article published by CNBC.