SeaWorld Whales Use Benzodiazepine

    SAN DIEGO, CA - DECEMBER 23:  In this handout image provided by SeaWorld San Diego, a baby killer whale, born December 21 swims with its mother, Kasatka, a 28-year-old whale December 23, 2004 at SeaWorld in San Diego, California. After a nearly 18-month gestation, Kasatka's calf, estimated to weigh between 300 and 350 pounds and measure between 6 to 7 feet, was born in Shamu Stadium's main show pool following a little more than two hours of labor.  (Photo by Mike Aguilera/SeaWorld San Diego via Getty Images)

    Mike Aguilera/SeaWorld San Diego, via Getty

    According to a document obtained by BuzzFeed, trainers at SeaWorld treat their famous whales with benzodiazepine, which is in drugs like Valium and Xanax. “The veterinary records show that orcas at SeaWorld are given psychotropic drugs to stop them from acting aggressively toward each other in the stressful, frustrating conditions in which they’re confined, instead of funding the development of coastal sanctuaries—the only humane solution,” said Jared Goodman of PETA. While critics like Goodman argue the medication is used as a result of the captivity, SeaWorld responded, saying, “The use of benzodiazepines is regulated, and these medications are only prescribed to animals by a veterinarian. Their use for cetacean health care, including killer whales, is limited, infrequent, and only as clinically indicated based on the assessment of the attending veterinarian." SeaWorld has faced widespread criticism for the past few years from activists about its treatment of its whales, as well as a recent documentary Blackfish, which is about a whale that killed three trainers.

    Read it at BuzzFeed