SeaWorld shareholders won’t consider PETA plan for whale sanctuaries

The documentary "Blackfish" raises questions about the treatment of killer whales at SeaWorld.
(Magnolia Pictures)

A procedural rule will keep SeaWorld shareholders from considering a plan by animal rights activists to invest in whale sanctuaries.

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals tried to bring the idea to shareholders in response to the documentary “Blackfish,” which alleges mistreatment of captive killer whales at the parks.

SeaWorld has refuted the allegations raised in “Blackfish.”

As owners of 80 shares in SeaWorld Entertainment, PETA can suggest proposals to be included in proxy material mailed to all shareholders.


But SeaWorld officials said Securities and Exchange Commission rules require that a shareholder hold stock for at least a year before submitting such a proposal.

PETA bought shares on April 19, 2013 -- the day SeaWorld went public. SeaWorld submitted its latest proxy material to the SEC on April 17 -- two days short of a year.

“SeaWorld has pulled a procedural maneuver to exclude from its proxy materials a shareholder resolution from PETA,” the animal rights group said in a statement.

In its own statement, SeaWorld said: “We owe it to our shareholders to conduct our annual proxy process in accordance with the Securities and Exchange Commission rules and regulations, our own by-laws and applicable law.”



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