SeaWorld admits its employees spied on animal rights groups
The marine amusement park SeaWorld on admitted that its employees have posed as animals rights activists in order to spy on opponents
The marine amusement park SeaWorld on Thursday admitted that its employees have posed as animals rights activists in order to spy on opponents, and vowed to end the practice.
However, it also said one of these employees has returned to work for SeaWorld and will not be penalized.
“The Board has directed that the company’s management team end a practice in which certain employees posed as animal rights activists,” said a statement by SeaWorld.
The practice was an effort “to maintain the safety and security of company employees, customers, and animals in the face of credible threats that the company had received.”
Last year, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), accused a San Diego SeaWorld employee named Paul McComb of posing as an activist to spy on them.
McComb was placed on leave from SeaWorld during an investigation, but has since returned to work, said SeaWorld.
“Mr. McComb remains an employee of SeaWorld, has returned to work at SeaWorld in a different department and is no longer on administrative leave,” said SeaWorld.
Joel Manby, president and chief executive officer of SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc., did not say how many employees have worked as spies, but said SeaWorld would end the practice “to ensure that all of our security and other activities align with our core values and ethical standards.”
PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman lashed out at the marine park, saying the “latest report confirms not only that the company has employed more than one spy to infiltrate and agitate at PETA.”
PETA has accused SeaWorld of enslaving marine animals at its parks.
“Animals continue to be found dead in its tiny tanks, with one death every single month since November,” said Reiman.
“If SeaWorld had business savvy or common sense, it would modernize its business with coastal sanctuaries and virtual reality displays instead of building more roller coasters and dolphin prisons.”