Marine attraction park SeaWorld has announced it will end dolphin 'surfing' in all its locations - but still denies the stunts are 'harmful' to animals 'in any way'.
It has also said trainers riding on dolphin's snouts will be 'phase out' in the next few months.
'Demeaning circus-style shows'
Animal-rights charity PETA, which brought shares in SeaWorld to propose the ban, said: "Victory! SeaWorld has stopped treating dolphins like surfboards and will soon stop making trainers stand on their faces in demeaning circus-style shows."
However, SeaWorld has denied the move was influenced by the charity, telling Time Magazine: "SeaWorld is continually evolving its animal presentations to create the best experience for both guests and our animals.
"As an accredited zoological facility, our leadership solely determines the content and format of our presentations and is not influenced in any way by the actions of ill-informed activists."
Last year, celebrity actor and comedian Alec Baldwin blasted SeaWorld for using dolphins as 'surfboards'.
During the company's annual online meeting, the star said: "This cruel treatment offers absolutely no educational value to the public. It also sends a harmful message to children about the acceptable treatment of animals.
"My question is this: When will SeaWorld stop allowing trainers to use dolphins in harmful circus-style shows that display cruelty, such as riding on their backs and standing on their faces, disguised as entertainment?"