Judge hears arguments in 'whales as slaves' case

PETA says orcas treated like slaves at SeaWorld parks

Published On: Feb 06 2012 03:42:49 PM EST   Updated On: Feb 06 2012 03:45:49 PM EST
seaworld whales
SAN DIEGO -

A federal judge in San Diego has heard arguments in a case that could determine whether animals enjoy the same constitutional protection against slavery as human beings.

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Miller listened Monday to arguments from lawyers for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals about their lawsuit against Sea World, in which they have named five wild-captured orcas as plaintiffs.

PETA lawyers say the orcas are being treated like slaves when they are forced to perform daily at SeaWorld parks in San Diego and Orlando.

Lawyers for SeaWorld have asked the judge to dismiss the lawsuit, saying it defies common sense.

Miller says he will rule on the motion soon.