Former Runaways star Joan Jett has criticised SeaWorld at its annual shareholders meeting over alleged animal abuses, with a particular focus on their supposed methods of forced breeding.
Appearing virtually on behalf of animal rights group PETA, the ‘Cherry Bomb‘ songwriter called for the company to end its “sordid breeding program”.
In quotes obtained via Consequence, Jett argued: “SeaWorld has caused public outrage by continuing to forcibly breed bottlenose dolphins and beluga whales in order to create generations of animals who then suffer in cramped tanks, deprived of any semblance of a natural life.”
She continued: “In the park’s breeding program, unwilling female dolphins are taken from the water and sometimes even drugged so they can’t fight back while SeaWorld staff thrust tubes filled with semen into their uteruses. Some must endure this process repeatedly, only for their babies to die or be taken away and shipped off to other marine prisons.”
“We can all agree that sexually abusing dolphins and whales who must carry out their forced pregnancies is disrespectful to these forms of intelligent life, heedless of these wonderful animals’ rights, and just plain wrong. My question is this: When will SeaWorld end its sordid breeding program?”, the iconic rocker concluded.
In a statement shared with Billboard, the American company maintained that it is “more important now than ever to educate the public about marine animals” and uphold “healthy populations in accredited and certified zoological settings”.
“Having a zoological program allows us to be one of the foremost experts in marine mammal research, rescue, and rehabilitation. Over its history, SeaWorld has come to the aid of more than 40,000 marine animals in the wild who have been injured or stranded,” it continued.
“The knowledge gained in our zoological setting helps researchers, scientists and veterinarians to conserve these majestic animals in the wild. Marine animals are receiving the highest standard of care from our team of world-renowned veterinarians, zoologists and other animal care specialists.”
This is not the first time Joan Jett has clashed with SeaWorld. She’s one of the most prominent animal rights advocates in music, and in 2013 she sent a cease and desist letter to the company for their use of her 1981 hit ‘I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll’ in the Shamu show.