SeaWorld Promises to Stop Sending Spies to Infiltrate PETA

Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 4.58.39 PMRemember how People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) once accused SeaWorld of planting people in their organization to spy on them? Well, as it turns out…they were right.

Even before the documentary Blackfish made public the theme park chain’s dubious animal treatment practices, SeaWorld and PETA waged a series of cold war PR campaigns against each other. CEO Joel Manby held a call with investors today, and though he did not apologize for his organization’s practices, he said the company board would no longer spy on critics by having employees pose as animal rights activists.

Management has been directed to “end the practice in which certain employees posed as animal rights activists,” Manby said. “This activity was undertaken in connection with efforts to maintain the safety and security of employees, customers and animals in the face of credible threats,” he added.

SeaWorld employee Paul McComb might be at the heart of this decision, for it was half a year ago when PETA discovered him (and his activist alter ego). The organization claimed that he used the social media alias of Thomas Jones to get inside information about their activists, while spreading extreme rhetoric and calls to take illegal actions against SeaWorld.

McComb was placed on administrative leave after being found out, but Manby said he has since returned to work and was reassigned to a new department.

[h/t CNN Money]
[Image via PETA]

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