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US appeals court rules against groups that want to free orca

US appeals court rules against animal rights groups that want to free Miami orca 'Lolita'

US appeals court rules against groups that want to free orca

MIAMI (AP) -- A federal appeals court has upheld a ruling against animal rights groups that want a captive killer whale removed from an oceanarium in Florida.

The case concerns an orca named Lolita that has lived at Miami Seaquarium since 1970. Last year, a local judge dismissed the groups' lawsuit which alleged that the tank holding Lolita violates government animal welfare standards.

An appeals court said last week that although the judges "are sensitive to the plight of Lolita and other animals exhibited across the country," the orca could remain on display at the Seaquarium and that its rights were being met.

The animal rights groups had argued that agriculture officials were just "rubber-stamping" license renewals and that such a practice undermined the law.