ORLANDO, Fla. - Federal officials testified Thursday that SeaWorld isn't doing enough to keep trainers safe during shows with killer whales.
The theme park representatives said it is doing everything it can and needs more time to make more changes.
SeaWorld officials worked to hang on to the little contact trainers have left with the orcas at a federal hearing in Sanford.
Trainers swimming with whales is a thing of the past at SeaWorld.
More than three years after Tilikum the whale killed trainer Dawn Brancheau, it is still not clear just what SeaWorld will be required to do to comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
The government agency cited SeaWorld for not providing adequate protections for trainers after Brancheau's death in February 2010.
SeaWorld has asked for more time to address the problem.
OSHA officials testified that SeaWorld's new show "One Ocean" still exposes trainers to risks.
Trainers still touch the whales when they are standing with them in shallow water.
SeaWorld's attorney asked if OSHA is requiring a workplace that is 100 percent risk free.
OSHA wants sea world to treat all of their whales just like they now treat Tilikum, with no in-water interaction.
SeaWorld officials testified that would be impossible, like telling you to train your dog from 5 feet away without ever touching it.
SeaWorld officials testified that it is safe for trainers to stand in shallow water with the whales and touch the center of the whale.
OSHA disagrees. This is a debate that will likely continue for many more months.
A judge is still deciding the outcome of Thursday's federal hearing.