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Romania: Recognize Dolphins as "Non-Human Persons"

This petition had 4,426 supporters

A new law has been proposed in Romania to recognize dolphins as "non-human persons."

People have known about the intelligence of dolphins for centuries. However, it is only in the last few decades that scientists have begun to understand just how complex their brains really are. Self-aware and capable of abstract thinking, dolphins have strong, complex friendships and family ties.

Dolphins do not adapt well to a life of captivity. Forced to live in artificial and cramped conditions, these wide-ranging, social animals are stripped of every normal facet of their lives. Half of the world’s captive dolphins die due to the cruelty of their capture and confinement. In Romania, we have at least two dolphins trapped in concrete tanks being forced to do tricks for food.

Last year, the Indian government made history by being the first nation in the world to not only recognize the advanced intelligence and self awareness of the dolphins, but also to grant them the protection that goes with being a “non-human person," namely their freedom and the right not to be held in captivity for entertainment purposes. Costa Rica, Hungary and Chile have also banned the use of dolphins for entertainment.

Romanian politician Remus Cernea recently proposed a law recognizing dolphins as "non-human persons." Louie Psihoyos, director of the 2009 Oscar-winning documentary "The Cove," has written a letter of support. The next step is gathering international support to put pressure on our government.

This important draft law will also afford protection to the thousands of dolphins at risk of entanglement from fishing nets in the Black Sea.

Urge the Romanian Parliament to take the first steps towards legally recognizing dolphins as "non-human persons."

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