Richard Branson’s Virgin Urged to Sever Ties With Controversial Marine Park SeaWorld

seaworld animal abuse

A new anti-SeaWorld campaign is asking people to contact major companies and request they sever all ties with the marine park.

The campaign, launched by international animal rights organization PETA, highlights that many businesses have already cut ties with SeaWorld, including STA Travel, JetBlue, Taco Bell, and Southwest Airlines. However, others, such as AAA, Virgin Group, and Telemundo Network, still remain connected to the park.

“Many of the business that still promote the park listen to feedback from their patrons and the public, which means that we need your help to let them know that what they’re doing is wrong,” says PETA on its website. “In addition to boycotting SeaWorld and calling on the marine park to empty its tanks, tell these companies that animal abuse is a very serious issue to you and urge them to end all affiliations with SeaWorld.”

SeaWorld CEO Resigns Due to Falling Profits

Since the 2013 expos√© “Blackfish,” a number of consumers and businesses have chosen to no longer support SeaWorld. Profits for the park have consistently fallen as a result — in April, it was reported that attendance to SeaWorld San Diego had dropped by more than half a million. Financial concerns have taken their toll on the company, with CEO Joel Manby resigning from his position in February.

SeaWorld continues to blame its falling attendance on “public perception issues.” However, others, such as Thomas Cook, believe the company has an animal welfare issue. The travel giant chose to no longer promote the company back in February, as part of an overhaul to its own animal welfare policy. A spokesperson for Thomas Cook told Sun Online Travel, “we have taken steps to remove promotional content for all animal excursions, in line with our animal welfare policy. This includes adverts, social media promotional campaigns and blog content across our websites and social media channels.”

In March of 2016, SeaWorld tried to appease the public and animal rights organizations by ending its orca breeding program. However, as PETA notes, there are still orcas suffering at the park presently, and breeding programs still exist for others animals that perform at SeaWorld, such as bottlenose dolphins.

To take action with PETA and encourage companies to cut ties with SeaWorld, see here.