Last year, India became the first country in the world to voice support for viewing dolphins as non-human persons and effectively banned dolphin captivity, allowing these animals to finally be free from the entertainment industry.
Now, it looks like Romania might be the next in line to do so.
Concerned about the plight of dolphins worldwide, Romanian politician Remus Cernea decided it was time we treat dolphins with the respect and care they deserve and drafted up Romania’s first ever dolphin personhood bill.
The Oceanic Preservation Society (OPS), best known as the team behind 2009 documentary “The Cove,” has already voiced their full support for Romania’s new bill through an open letter penned by OPS executive director, Louie Psihoyos.
As Psihoyos writes, “Besides a large complex brain and similar chromosomal structure we know that dolphins share our common ability to feel pleasure and pain, and to form complex, lasting emotional bonds that can cross species boundaries. These are the things that make human life meaningful and valuable. Because these capacities are shared by dolphins, and sometimes had to a greater degree, we must recognize that cetaceans are due the same moral and legal protections we afford all human beings.”
Cernea’s proposed law asks the Romanian government to afford the following rights to dolphins:
- Right to life
- Right to bodily integrity, and to be free from any acts of cruelty
- Right to free movement in their own natural environment, not to be captured or hold in captivity with other purposes other than to be offered medical assistance or to be protected from an impending danger.
- Right to be protected in the own living natural environment, and not to be separated from the group or family he or she belongs.
Even though Romania might not have nearly as many captive dolphins as the U.S. or other countries (an online petition text cites that the country has at least two dolphins), if passed, this law would have far reaching effects as it would add additional clout to a growing body of evidence against marine mammal captivity. Indeed, it would be one step closer to creating a free world for all dolphins.
Join Cernea and “The Cove” in urging the Romanian Parliament to say no to dolphin captivity and yes to dolphin protection by signing this Change.org petition today and spreading the word!
To read a draft of Cernea’s proposed law and Psihoyos’ full open letter, please click here.
Image source: Docksland Tony / Flickr