PETA Asks FTC to Investigate Aquarium Chain for Unfair Trade Practices
For Immediate Release:
December 5, 2022
David Perle 202-483-7382
Littleton, Colo. – This morning, PETA submitted a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requesting that the agency investigate SeaQuest for unfair business practices, noting that members of the public, including children, have been bitten and injured at the aquarium chain, which continues to market hands-on encounters with animals as safe, family-friendly entertainment.
PETA’s complaint points out that at SeaQuest Littleton, pufferfish—whose secretions contain a potent poison—have bitten multiple guests, one of whom called 911 to report numbness and difficulty breathing. An Asian water monitor bit an employee during a feeding, an iguana jumped onto a child’s chest and stuck a claw inside her mouth, and an iguana caught a claw in an employee’s face under the eye while jumping onto the employee’s shoulder. Iguanas, a horn shark, the Asian water monitor, a pacu, and a pig have also bitten customers, including children, and the one bitten by the pig sought treatment at an urgent care facility.
“SeaQuest’s animal encounters have caused significant physical injury to an unsuspecting public, thereby violating the FTC Act’s prohibition on unfair trade practices,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Michelle Sinnott. “PETA is calling on the government to act before another person is wounded or worse at these facilities, which are ticking time bombs.”
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview—notes that hundreds of animals have died at SeaQuest locations across the country. The chain’s CEO, Vince Covino, was fined $5,000 in 2017 for violations of the Idaho Uniform Securities Act after failing to reveal a prior disciplinary action to potential investors.
After discussions with PETA, Sam’s Club confirmed that it would end its sale of tickets to SeaQuest, due to the chain’s string of animal deaths, neglect, legal violations, and injuries to employees and the public.
For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.