ARIZONA NEWS

AAA Arizona ends sale of SeaWorld tickets, PETA praises the move

Sep 18, 2018, 7:00 PM | Updated: Sep 19, 2018, 9:09 am
(AP Photo/John Raoux, File)...
(AP Photo/John Raoux, File)
(AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

PHOENIX — AAA Arizona said this week it will no longer sell SeaWorld tickets.

The automobile club pointed to member sales being the driving factor in the decision.

“After evaluating trends in member sales, we’ve decided to discontinue SeaWorld tickets later this fall,” an AAA Arizona spokesman said in a statement.

“These changes not only reflect member interest and demand, but ensure consistency across the nearly 6 million AAA members we serve across seven western states.”

This move came after pressure from an animal rights group that called for AAA Arizona to end its relationship with SeaWorld.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals posted a billboard in Phoenix in July calling for AAA to stop promoting the theme park.

The advocacy group believes SeaWorld’s confinement and treatment of orca whales among other animals is part of a “long history of cruelty,” according to a news release.

“PETA is so pleased that AAA Arizona hit the brakes on its ticket sales to SeaWorld, where naturally ocean-dwelling orcas are serving a life sentence in tiny tanks, where they’re denied everything that’s natural and important to them,” Tracy Reiman, PETA executive vice president, said in a news release.

“Decent companies don’t want their names attached to an operation built on exploiting marine mammals, and now, it’s time that AAA National and other offices follow suit.”

Organizations including the Miami Dolphins, Taco Bell and Southwest Airlines have also cut ties with the theme park.

Seaworld paid more than $5 million to settle a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit, it was announced Tuesday.

The lawsuit accused the park of not disclosing the impact that “Blackfish,” a 2013 documentary critical of the park’s treatment of its animals, made on its business.

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AAA Arizona ends sale of SeaWorld tickets, PETA praises the move