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Judge tosses out lawsuit seeking freedom for orcas at SeaWorld

By Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times –

SAN DIEGO — A federal judge in San Diego on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals that had sought an order forcing SeaWorld to free five orcas.

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Miller ruled that a lawsuit on behalf of the orcas could not be brought under the anti-slavery 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution because the amendment pertains to human beings, not animals.

Even in defeat, PETA hailed its lawsuit as a victory, “one more step taken toward the inevitable day when all animals will be free from enslavement for human amusement.”

Three of the five orcas mentioned in the PETA lawsuit are at SeaWorld San Diego; the others are at the SeaWorld park in Orlando, Fla.

SeaWorld had asked the judge to dismiss the lawsuit, branding it a publicity stunt.

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