Washington: Urge Senator Pearson to Schedule a Hearing on HB 2888!
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Dear Washington Humanitarian,
HB 2888, a bill to ban the captive display for entertainment purposes of all cetaceans within the state, has passed the House and should now be heard in the Senate. Senator Kirk Pearson, chair of the Senate Natural Resources and Parks Committee, has been reluctant to schedule a hearing for this bill, even though it passed the House floor with a vote 64-33 in favor! Please contact him immediately and urge him to allow the bill to be heard in committee as soon as possible!
HB 2888 is modeled on the bill to ban the captive display of orcas in California, the Orca Welfare and Safety Act. While there are currently no captive cetaceans in Washington, there have been in the past. HB 2888 would prevent anyone in the state from ever again keeping cetaceans in captivity.
The Senate will act on this bill quickly if Senator Pearson allows a hearing (it is a very short legislative session this year), so he needs to hear from you!
Washington was an active capture location for orcas in the 1960s and 1970s and these captures decimated the southern resident orca population in Puget Sound. This decline was a key reason the population was listed as endangered under the US Endangered Species Act in 2005. Washington banned orca captures in 1976—HB 2888 would complete the circle and make Washington a leader among the 50 states in cetacean welfare.
What You Can Do:
Please call Senator Pearson’s office TODAY at (360) 786-7676 and urge him to allow a hearing on HB 2888. You can also send a follow-up email to the senator via AWI’s Compassion Index by clicking here.
Suggested talking points:
• It is NOT illegal to display captive cetaceans in Washington state—HB 2888 is an important animal welfare bill that would prevent anyone from resuming the practice of displaying captive cetaceans in Washington.
• Washington banned the capture of orcas in 1976. HB 2888 would complete the circle and make Washington a leader among the 50 states in cetacean welfare.
• Cetaceans suffer in captivity—they are too large, too socially complex, too intelligent, and too wide-ranging to adapt well to small, concrete tanks.
• Most of the “education” offered by captive cetacean displays and shows is misleading or inaccurate. It is better to get accurate information on cetacean ecology and conservation needs from documentaries, museums, books, and responsible whale-watching tours.
Please be sure to share our Dear Humanitarian eAlert with family, friends, and co-workers, and encourage them to contact their state senator, too. As always, thank you very much for your help!
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