PETA Calls On ABTA to Reject Cetacean Captivity on World Orca Day

Posted by on July 14, 2022 | Permalink

This World Orca Day, we should celebrate these magnificent animals – and remember that many are still imprisoned and suffering in marine parks around the world for human entertainment.

Today, a wave of PETA protesters gathered outside the London office of the travel association ABTA to urge it to stop backing orca captivity.

What is ABTA? How Is It Letting Orcas Down?

ABTA is the leading trade association for the UK travel sector. It informs the public and its members with its extensive guidelines, some of which cover animal welfare and advise against cruel practices like elephant riding. Though it frowns upon animal performances at facilities like zoos, it doesn’t classify marine parks that keep cetaceans in captivity as unacceptable or advise its members to avoid promoting and selling tickets to these facilities. ABTA must update its Animal Welfare Guidelines to add attractions that keep dolphins and whales imprisoned for entertainment to its “unacceptable practices” list. Until then, the organisation is giving the green light for travel companies to promote inhumane marine parks.

Equipped with signs and dressed as orcas in chains, PETA supporters demanded that ABTA stop supporting this abusive industry.

Cruel Orca Captivity

At SeaWorld – the world’s most notorious marine park – orcas who would normally swim up to 150 miles a day are forced to spend their entire lives confined to cramped concrete cells filled with chemically treated water, in which they can do little else but swim in endless circles. Some break their teeth gnawing on metal bars or the sides of the tank in the hope of escape.

Orcas are extremely sensitive to sound, which they use to talk to each other and navigate oceans, so noisy water pumps and loud crowds leave them disorientated and stressed. Inside the barren tanks, orcas are often housed in incompatible groups, unable to escape attacks from other frustrated animals. More than 40 orcas and hundreds of other marine animals have died on SeaWorld’s watch – far short of their natural life expectancies.

These intelligent and beautiful individuals deserve much better.

Many Travel Providers Turned Their Backs on Cruelty

After years of determined campaigning by PETA, almost every leading travel provider – including British Airways Holidays, Virgin Atlantic Holidays,, and Tripadvisor – has stopped selling tickets to parks that confine orcas in the name of entertainment.

However, companies such as TUI continue to sell tickets to SeaWorld. ABTA must help stop this by updating its Animal Welfare Guidelines.

What You Can Do

Never visit marine parks, and do not prop up this archaic industry by purchasing tickets.

Please also send a message to ABTA now and urge it to stop the exploitation of whales and dolphins in tourism:

Want to come along to future protests? Join our Action Team now!