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After weeks of protest against a dolphin park in the state of Kerala and several other marine mammal entertainment facilities which were to be built this year, India has officially recognized dolphins as non-human persons, whose rights to life and liberty must be respected. Dolphin parks that were being built across the country will instead be shut down.
India's Ministry of Environment and Forests has informed state governments to ban dolphinariums and other commercial entertainment that involves the capture and confinement of cetacean species such as orcas and bottlenose dolphins. They issued a statement that said, "research had clearly established cetaceans are highly intelligent and sensitive, and that dolphins "should be seen as 'non-human persons' and as such should have their own specific rights."
India becomes the fourth country in the world to ban the capture and import of cetaceans for the purpose of commercial entertainment - along with Costa Rica, Hungary, and Chile. Three years ago, the movement began to recognize whale and dolphins as individuals with self-awareness and a set of rights. The movement gained momentum in Helsinki, Finland when scientists and ethicists drafted a Declaration of Rights for Cetaceans. "We affirm that all cetaceans as persons have the right to life, liberty and well-being," they wrote.
It has been shown that dolphins can recognize their own reflection, use tools and understand abstract concepts. They develop unique signature whistles allowing friends and family members to recognize them, similar to the way human beings use names. "They share intimate, close bonds with their family groups. They have their own culture, their own hunting practices - even variations in the way they communicate," said FIAPO's (Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organizations) Puja Mitra.
May I remind the members of ATS that laws and rights are social contracts, Have these dolphins agreed to such a thing? What happens when a dolphin rapes a woman/man, will the dolphin be called to court ?
Urgh.... Why are people not seeing the issues here????
I agree that Dolphins should be protected, however declaring them Non-Human persons with human rights is the stupidest thing i have heard in a while.
May I remind the members of ATS that laws and rights are social contracts,
Have these dolphins agreed to such a thing?
What happens when a dolphin rapes a woman/man, will the dolphin be called to court ?
The only outcome I can see coming from this is, institutionalised executions of dolphins .
Laws and rights are a Human invention which requires both parties to agree, the Dolphin cannot.
Just my 2 cents
dolphins "should be seen as 'non-human persons' and as such should have their own specific rights."