Congress: Improve Living Conditions for Orcas

Public representatives on both sides of the aisle requested that the USDA updates their standards for facilities that hold aquatic animals captive.


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Last Thursday, 40 members of congress called on Tom Vilsack, the United States Department of Agriculture Secretary and his agency, the Animal Plant Health Inspection Service, to update their regulations regarding the living conditions of captive aquatic mammals. These conditions would include the quality of water, the space allotted to animals, and the designs of the facilties. According to Yahoo News, in 2002, the USDA prompted the public as to how these standards should be updated, but despite the outpouring of comments from concerned citizens, scientists, exhibitors, and animal rights groups, no changes were put in place. Now, democrats and republicans in congress are taking action. “It’s unacceptable that our regulations protecting orcas and other marine mammals have not been updated to reflect the latest science,” said California representatives Jared Huffman and Adam Schiff. “It is past time for USDA to address this issue.”