California on Wednesday became the first state to ban killer whale theatrical shows and breeding programs.
Governor Jerry Brown signed into action a measure making sure mistreatment of these mammals will no longer take place in the Golden State.
Perpetrators can face up to $100,000 in fines for breaking this law.
California assemblyman Richard Bloom introduced the bill to ban captive orca breeding.
SeaWorld is about to look very different.
The bill, SB 839, which Brown signed into effect Tuesday, prohibits corporations, individuals, and organizations from breeding killer whales in captivity.
Here's what SeaWorld had to say about the new bill:
"The bill does allow for SeaWorld to rescue and rehabilitate stranded orcas, with the goal of returning them to the wild, as is the case with all animals we rescue. And, if the federal government determines that the orca is not releasable, that animal could stay in SeaWorld's care."
SeaWorld, the focus of the 2013 "Blackfish" documentary that shows the controversy over captive killer whales, has long received criticism for its breeding programs. USA Today reports SeaWorld ended its killer whale breeding program in March and has announced plans to phase out theatrical shows.
SeaWorld operates parks in California. Florida, Virginia and Texas.
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