Romania Is Debating Whether to Give Human Rights to Dolphins

by Owen James Burke


39-year-old politician and activist Remus Cernea brought a bill to to parliament last week suggesting that dolphins receive rights as “non-human persons,” proposing that the use of dolphins in live entertainment be banned, and that any killer of any dolphin should be treated just as any murderer of any person.

Months after dolphins gained unprecedented protection in India, the debate has arisen in Romania as well. Though they are not hunted in Romania, dolphins, by the dozens, are reported to be found dead in fishermen’s nets along the Black Sea.

Matters for another debate might include whether or not large populations — such as the Roma — will be evicted from Romanian waters, and if female dolphins too will be trafficked and sold into prostitution. If so, they may have one potential customer in Florida.


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