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California bans orca captivity and breeding following SeaWorld's decision to end its program

Sea World announced it would stop breeding orcas in March. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)
Sea World announced it would stop breeding orcas in March. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)

Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Tuesday that will outlaw orca breeding and captivity programs like the one formerly run by SeaWorld theme parks.

California parks will also be banned from featuring the marine mammals, known as killer whales, in performances for entertainment purposes. Starting in June next year, orcas in captivity can be used for "educational presentations" only.

The law, authored by Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), makes exceptions for scientific and educational institutions holding orcas for research or rehabilitation.

SeaWorld San Diego, the park featured in the critical 2013 documentary "Blackfish," announced in March that it would stop breeding orcas and end theatrical shows.

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