ALBANY, N.Y. – A former SeaWorld killer whale trainer spoke at New York State Animal Advocacy Day Wednesday.
“I couldn’t stop it from the inside even as a high-ranked trainer, but I do believe that myself and other people – we can stop it from the outside,” John Hargrove said.
Hargrove is a former SeaWorld senior killer whale trainer. He was at the Legislative Office Building Wednesday as a special guest speaker for Animal Advocacy Day.
Hargrove is co-sponsoring the Orca Welfare and Safety Act in California and similar proposed legislation in New York, which hopes to end killer whale activity.
“Essentially, that bill is saying that you can no longer use killer whales in captivity for entertainment,” he said. “You can no longer breed killer whales in captivity, and even though we don’t have killer whales in New York State, what this would do is set the example that this state has come together and has said, ‘Look, this is cruel. This is inhumane.’”
Hargrove is one of the many former trainers featured in the 2013 documentary Blackfish. He commented on SeaWorld’s inhumane treatment of killer whales in the film.
The former trainer continues to speak out against his former employer and feels what he’s doing is part of the large debt owed to the whales whose lives were drastically changed for the worse.
“I owe it to them to just speak the truth and tell people exactly what their lives are like in captivity, and I’m willing to do whatever I need to do to support this legislation,” he said.
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