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Joan Jett attacks SeaWorld over alleged sexual abuse of marine animals

Joan Jett
(Image credit: Mark Weiss / Getty Images)

Rock icon Joan Jett is taking SeaWorld to task at their virtual annual shareholders meeting, accusing the Orlando, Florida-based theme park of alleged sexual abuse of the whales and dolphins in its care.

Speaking on behalf of PETA (opens in new tab) (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), she’ll be talking about the forced impregnation practices that reportedly occur under its watch.

Her statement reads: "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.

“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?"

Jett has been a long-time critic of SeaWorld’s policies. Inspired by the documentary movie Blackfish, about Seaworld’s resident bull orca, Tilikum, she presented the company with a cease and desist order in 2013 after they used her hit track I Love Rock ’N’ Roll during their recurring Shamu show.

Celebrities such as P!nk, Noah Cyrus, Bella Thorne and Steve Aoki have teamed up with PETA since to speak out about the cruel practises of marine parks.

Jett has already proved that she’s not one to back down from a fight, hitting back at Ted Nugent last May after he mocked her inclusion in the Rolling Stone list of 100 greatest guitarists, saying “He's not a tough guy. He plays tough guy, but this is the guy who shit his pants – literally – so he didn't have to go in the Army."

Starting on Thursday, June 16, Joan Jett And The Blackhearts embark on a three-and-a-half-month US tour with Motley Crue, Def Leppard and Poison.

Having freelanced regularly for the Melody Maker and Kerrang!, and edited the extreme metal monthly, Terrorizer, for seven years, Jonathan is now the overseer of all the album and live reviews in Metal Hammer. Bemoans his obsolete superpower of being invisible to Routemaster bus conductors, finds men without sideburns slightly circumspect, and thinks songs that aren’t about Satan, swords or witches are a bit silly.