Sunday, February 23, 2014

India declares DOLPHINS "non-human persons"

Dolphins can sleep with half their brain and can therefore stay awake for at least two weeks (S.D. McCulloch/

Dolphins (Jesslee Cuizon/
India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests has decided to forbid the keeping of captive dolphins for public entertainment anywhere in the country.
In a policy statement released Friday, the ministry advised state governments to reject any proposal to establish a dolphinarium “by any person / persons, organizations, government agencies, private or public enterprises that involves import, capture of cetacean species to establish for commercial entertainment, private or public exhibition and interaction purposes whatsoever.” Why?

Social dolphins (
“Whereas cetaceans in general are highly intelligent and sensitive, and various scientists who have researched dolphin behavior have suggested that the unusually high intelligence; as compared to other animals means that dolphins should be seen as ‘non-human persons’ and as such should have their own specific rights and is morally unacceptable to keep them captive for entertainment purpose,” the ministry said....

India and landlocked Nepal have an indigenous freshwater Ganges river dolphin.
(Jessa Gamble/
[This] happened back in May and somehow escaped worldwide attention and the 24-hour media hoopla. The effort to re-categorize cetaceans (dolphins, whales, porpoises) as non-human persons has been gathering steam since a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2011, when a group of philosophers, conservationists, and animal behaviorists attempted to gather wide support for a Declaration of Rights for Cetaceans from the scientific community.
The Declaration for Dolphins
  1. The cetacea, evolving family (wiki)
    Every individual cetacean has the right to life.
  2. No cetacean should be held in captivity or servitude; be subject to cruel treatment; or be removed from their natural environment.
  3. All cetaceans have the right to freedom of movement and residence within their natural environment.
  4. No cetacean is the property of any state, corporation, human group, or individual.
  5. Cetaceans have the right to the protection of their natural environment.
  6. Cetaceans have the right not to be subject to the disruption of their cultures.
  7. The rights, freedoms, and norms set forth in this Declaration should be protected under international and domestic law.
And what does it mean to say an animal has “rights”? More

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