On 25th June 2024, Miami-Dade Council initiated legal action to evict The Dolphin Company, the owners of the Miami Seaquarium in Florida, US, after they refused to vacate the premises in April following an eviction notice.

In February 2024, Miami-Dade County officials announced that they were moving to revoke the lease of Miami Seaquarium which has been at the centre of many animal welfare complaints for years. They did so a few weeks later, giving the deadline of 21st April to vacate the premises. The county had moved to evict the company after multiple US Department of Agriculture reports found issues at the Seaquarium, including inadequate care for animals. However, The Dolphin Company filed a federal lawsuit on 19th April alleging lease violations. The lease was originally set to be up in 2044.

Levine Cava and Miami-Dade Commissioner Raquel Regalado said in a joint statement, “Our ultimate priority has always been to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the hundreds of animals in the Seaquarium’s care, and it’s critical that we proceed in a manner that best protects them…Miami-Dade County continues to believe that the grounds for the termination of the lease are still present, and for that reason we have decided to continue with the eviction process in court. We expect the Dolphin Company to take the necessary steps to vacate the premises and ensure that the transition is done in a safe and orderly manner, especially for the animals under their care.”

On the day the infamous aquarium should have closed its doors, activists from South Florida Animal Rights and PETA voiced their opposition to the park remaining open in a protest outside the facility. More protests continued in the few days following.

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Jordi Casamitjana
“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.