Albany, N.Y. – 6/02/14 – Senator Greg Ball (R, C, I – Patterson) welcomed former SeaWorld killer whale trainer, John Hargrove, to the State Capitol during last week’s Fourth Annual Animal Advocacy Day. John Hargrove, who was recently featured in the documentary “Blackfish,” joined Senator Ball and Assemblyman Tedisco in Albany to speak in support of Senator Ball’s “Blackfish bill.”

    The legislation was introduced after the documentary “Blackfish” highlighted the captivity of Tilikum, an orca whale who has been in confinement for the past 30 years. The documentary shows how large marine animals can develop health issues and become agitated from living in the confined spaces such as aquariums and sea parks. If passed, the legislation would  ban the possession and harboring of killer whales in New York State aquariums and sea parks.

    “We are very grateful for John Hargrove’s support of our 4th Annual Animal Advocacy Day. John’s testimony and insights in support of our ‘Blackfish’ bill were greatly appreciated and have helped raise awareness for this important cause,” said Senator Greg Ball. “The documentary ‘Blackfish’ opened a lot of eyes to the conditions orca whales are often subject to when they are held captive. These are huge, intelligent and majestic creatures and it is an atrocity that they sit captive in oversized tubs. We want to send a message as a state that we will never allow this type of cruelty in New York.”

    “I am grateful that people in influential positions like Senator Ball and Assemblyman Tedisco care about this issue and are taking it to another level. I believe that at the end of the day, this is how we will stop SeaWorld and this outdated practice of enslaving these majestic, supremely social and intelligent animals that are truly suffering in captivity all for profit and exploitation,” said John Hargrove.

    A petition in support of the legislation has received over 10,000 signatures. To sign the petition visit:

    For more information, please contact or (845) 531-9796