Joan Jett has excoriated SeaWorld at its annual shareholders meeting over its alleged animal abuses, in particular its purported methods of forced breeding.
The rocker appeared virtually on behalf of PETA, calling for an end to the company’s “sordid breeding program”.
She said: “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” [quotes via Consequence].
Jett 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?”
In a statement shared with Billboard SeaWorld said that it’s “more important now than ever to educate the public about marine animals” and to have “healthy populations in accredited and certified zoological settings” such as their own.
“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.”
Jett is an animal rights advocate. In 2013 she sent a cease and desist order to SeaWorld for its use of her 1982 hit ‘I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll’ during a recurring Shamu show.
Two years later SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. settled a shareholder class action lawsuit for $65million (£52million) after investors believed that they were misled about the film Blackfish, the controversial documentary centred on SeaWorld’s late resident bull orca Tilikum, and its impact on the company’s bottom-line.
Elsewhere, Jett was outspoken about Ted Nugent’s dismissive comments regarding her placement on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Guitarists list from nearly two decades ago.
In response she told NME: “Ted Nugent has to live with being Ted Nugent. He has to be in that body, so that’s punishment enough.”