Tags: seaworld | spied | peta | activists | posed

SeaWorld Spied: CEO Admits Workers Posed as Animal Rights Activists

Image: SeaWorld Spied: CEO Admits Workers Posed as Animal Rights Activists
The sign at the entrance to SeaWorld February 24, 2010 in Orlando, Florida. (Matt Stroshane/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 26 Feb 2016 03:38 PM

SeaWorld admitted this week that some of its employees spied on critics by posing as animal welfare activists, but CEO Joel Manby announced a new policy Thursday to prevent the practice.

"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," Manby told investors, according to CNN Money.

He said the company conducted an internal investigation after People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) made an allegation last year, and employee Paul McComb was placed on administrative leave during the investigation.

McComb, who PETA said used the name Thomas Jones to pose as an activist, has returned to SeaWorld in a different position, according to CNN Money.

"SeaWorld's latest report confirms not only that the company has employed more than one spy to infiltrate and agitate at PETA but also that it values its spies more highly than the executives who have had their heads chopped off in droves, as at least one of the spies is still working at the company," PETA said in a statement, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Kirk O. Hanson, executive director of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University, told the Sentinel that SeaWorld’s admission will likely only affect the company in a “minor way.”

"Past scandals have resulted in short-term hits to the reputation and economic success of companies," he said. "I would expect the reaction to this incident to be similar. Unfortunately the incident contributes long-term to a cynicism about the ethics of business in general."

The company’s stock fell more than 9 percent on Thursday, closing at $18.01. The spying allegation is just the latest struggle SeaWorld faces since its reputation took a hit after the release of the 2013 documentary "Blackfish," USA Today reported.

Twitter users shared mixed reactions to the spying story.












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SeaWorld admitted this week that some of its employees spied on critics by posing as animal welfare activists, but CEO Joel Manby announced a new policy Thursday to prevent the practice.
seaworld, spied, peta, activists, posed
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2016-38-26
Friday, 26 Feb 2016 03:38 PM
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