Lawyers for PETA argued that the five killer whales should be protected by the 13th Amendment of the Constitution which abolished slavery in America.
NBC News Reports:
“Tilikum, Katina, Kasatka, Ulises and Corky have been captive and subjected to treatment that we feel is slavery,” Kerr told U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Miller, who is now weighing SeaWorld’s request to toss the case, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“We’re talking about hell unleashed,” The San Francisco Chronicle quoted SeaWorld attorney Theodore Shaw as saying. “Neither orcas nor any other animal were included in the ‘We the people’ … when the Constitution was adopted.”
“This is truly a historic day for the law and for the animals,” spokesman David Perle said. Kerr added that “for the first time in our nation’s history, a federal court heard arguments as to whether living, breathing, feeling beings have rights and can be enslaved simply because they happen to not have been born human.”