CORTLANDT, N.Y. -- Sen. Greg Ball (R,C,I-Patterson) is moving forward with legislation inspired by the documentary film "Blackfish."
Ball is pushing Senate Bill 6613 that would ban the possession and harboring of killer whales in New York State aquariums and sea parks. The bill has gained support of John Hargrove, a former SeaWorld killer whale trainer and star of the documentary “Blackfish,” as well as the support from Donald Rapier, a high school student at Chicago’s Robert Lindblom Math & Science Academy, according to a release from Ball's office.
The legislation was introduced after the documentary “Blackfish” highlighted the captivity of Tilikum, an orca whale who has been in confinement for the past 30 years.
Ball wants to pass the bill during the fourth Annual NYS Animal Advocacy Day, which will be co-hosted with Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I – Glenville) on Wednesday, May 28 in Albany.
“The documentary ‘Blackfish’ opened a lot of eyes to the conditions orca whales are often subject to when they are held captive," said Ball. "These are huge, intelligent and majestic creatures and it is an atrocity that they sit captive in oversized tubs. We want to send a message as a state that we will never allow this type of cruelty in New York.
"This will be a highlight of animal advocacy day, but there are dozens of bills that we hope to pass this session. Most people can agree that the level of respect and kindness shown for animals, creatures who cannot speak for themselves, or protect themselves and are easily abused and taken advantage of, is a fine predictor of how a person will treat their peers. Violent and cruel behavior towards animals, cannot and should not be tolerated. I am greatly looking forward to the 4th Annual Animal Advocacy Day, this is a wonderful event that continues to grow every year.”
Hargrove will join Ball in Albany for Animal Advocacy Day.
"The unfortunate and appalling truth is that animals are abused and neglected every day," Hargrove said. "I am proud to stand with those who are fighting to stop animal cruelty and abuse."
A petition in support of the legislation has received more than 8,000 signatures. To view or sign the petition, residents are asked to visit the petition webpage.