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India declares dolphins to be "non-human persons" with basic rights

Posted: August 8, 2013 |   Comments

( According to a new ruling by the Government of India, dolphins are "non-human persons" who have their own rights, making it immoral to keep them in captivity. This decision is based on evidence of the animals being highly intelligent and sensitive. As a result of this landmark ruling, dolphin shows across the country will be banned.

The decision was made by India's Minister of the Environment and Forests. All Indian states have been warned by the Government to reject all public and private proposals to hold dolphin shows or open dolphinariums.

The Central Animal Authority issued the following statement: "Cetaceans...should be seen as 'non-human persons' and as such should have their own specific rights."

This move has made it illegal to capture or confine cetacean species, as such, dolphin parks which have recently opened across the country will be shut down.

Some animal rights activists see this as an important first step in establishing a universal code of animal ethics and rights. Costa Rica, Hungary and Chile have also banned the use of cetaceans for entertainment.

Marine scientist Lori Marino's work on cetaceans has revealed that they possess large brains, complex behavior patterns, and advanced systems of communication and cognition.

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