Travel company United Airlines will no longer sell tickets to SeaWorld and recently removed all mentions of the troubled marine park from its United Vacations website. The move was prompted by a request from animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) for the travel company to sever ties with SeaWorld, which continues to exploit marine life for entertainment. The 2013 release of vegan documentary Blackfish exposed the abuse marine animals are subjected to at SeaWorld causing sales and attendance at the park to plummet and led to a recently settled securities fraud lawsuit that alleged SeaWorld executives underreported the effect of Blackfish on company financials. “United Airlines made the right call to cut ties with a park that confines orcas and other dolphins to concrete tanks that, to them, are the size of bathtubs,” says PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange. “SeaWorld is still breeding generation after generation of dolphins to be ridden around like surfboards in sea circus shows, and PETA urges anyone who cares about animals to stay away.” A veterinary report released this year shows that animals held captive at SeaWorld suffer severe stress, disease, and injuries which leads to early deaths. United joins a growing list of companies—including Virgin Holidays, Alaska, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit, Sunwing, and WestJet airlines—that have cut ties with SeaWorld.
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