"AB2140 will not be reintroduced this session, but this is a temporary delay," Naomi Rose, a killer whale expert and marine mammal scientist at the Animal Welfare Institute, wrote to activists, scientists and journalists in an email on Wednesday. "As many of you know, the current political climate in the Assembly, with Speaker Toni Atkins having SeaWorld in her district, is difficult for this bill, so Assembly member Richard Bloom has chosen to wait for 2016."
"The important thing for all to understand is that the bill is not dead," Rose said. "It is delayed."
AB2140, which was drafted with input from anti-captivity activists including Rose and others, and received intensive media coverage, was sent to the Assembly's Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee for a hearing last April. Prior to and during that hearing, it became apparent to Bloom and other supporters that the bill would not make it out of the committee, and the legislation was tabled pending an interim study.
"The public support for ending orca captivity has been overwhelmingly positive." Bloom said at the time. "One petition gathered 1.2 million supporters and another petition received more than twenty-five thousand supporters. However, the issues are complex and the committee took the responsible approach to make sure we have the answers to all questions before we move forward. Moving this to an interim study will allow us to demonstrate that the science supports ending orca captivity and to clear up the gross misconceptions that have been thrown into the debate."