Miami News

Seaquarium faces eviction threat amidst controversy over animal welfare issues

Mayor Daniella Levine Cava makes waves as Seaquarium fights back against eviction. How will this controversy unravel?

In the heart of Miami, a marine drama is unfolding as the iconic Seaquarium faces the threat of eviction. Miami-Dade County's mayor, Daniella Levine Cava, recently sent shockwaves through the community, citing concerns about the well-being of animals housed at the beloved location.

However, the Seaquarium is pushing back, accusing the mayor's administration of spreading misinformation. The clash centers around a notice from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and a subsequent response from them, leaving the fate of this aquatic haven hanging in the balance.

About the accusations and corrective actions

Faced with an impending eviction, the Seaquarium fired back at Mayor Levine Cava, asserting that the information presented by the county was incomplete and misleading. They allege that the administration only shared partial details about recent enforcement actions taken by federal animal inspectors. The controversy revolves around a USDA notice issued on January 19, indicating the agency's intent to confiscate four animals from the Seaquarium due to identified issues with veterinary care.

The Seaquarium contends that swift corrective action was taken to comply with federal animal welfare laws, as confirmed by a USDA spokesperson. The marine attraction expressed disappointment in the county's handling of the situation, claiming that neither the mayor nor her staff reached out to the Seaquarium for confirmation before making the information public. In a bold statement, the Seaquarium emphasized its commitment to addressing misinformation and highlighted its ongoing operation under the existing lease agreement with Miami-Dade County.

An orca at the Miami Seaquarium

Seaquarium's eviction threat and ongoing operation

In response to Mayor Levine Cava's letter threatening eviction, they underscored its operational status and refuted claims of animals being confiscated. The statement clarified that no animals were removed by regulators, and the professional staff continues to provide care for the animals with passion and dedication.

While the specific animals subject to the confiscation notice remain undisclosed by both the USDA and Miami-Dade County, they assured the public that its animal care staff is collaborating with the USDA to address concerns related to four complex animal cases.

The Seaquarium remains a vital part of Miami's cultural landscape, open and operational despite the looming threat of eviction. The clash between the Seaquarium and Mayor Levine Cava's administration adds a layer of intrigue to the marine world, leaving the community on the edge of their seats as the story unfolds.

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