Published On: Mon, Feb 17th, 2014

A Bill to Protect Dolphins

Jumping_Bottlenose_DolphinsIt is very common to hear about human rights…now here’s something out of the ordinary, 39 year old activist politician Remus Cernea introduced a bill in parliament last week which would recognize the marine mammals as “non human persons,” because of their heir highly developed intelligence, personalities and behavior patterns. With a letter of support from an Oscar winning film director Cernea is acknowledging a cause which a few of his fellow Romanian lawmaker care about: giving dolphins the same rights as humans.

In the upcoming weeks, the bill will be debated in the Romanian upper house and would make humans and dolphins equal before the law. Dolphin’s killers would be given the same sentencing as the murderers of human beings. The bill will also be banning using dolphins in live entertainment shows.

According to Cernea, the aim of the bill is to help portect Romania’s indigenous dolphins in the Black Sea, it would also be adding the country’s voice to a global movement against dolphin killings.

American filmmaker Louie Psihoyos, who is famed for “The Cove,” a 2009 documentary about dolphin hunting in Japan is in support of Cernea’s cause to protect the mammals. However being able to attain domestic support maybe tough in a year when Romania goes to the polls twice, first in the European elections in May, then later on as they move onto vote for a new president. Cernea noted that at the present time he has no support aside from the American filmmaker who gave him a letter supporting his cause. He added that “this law asks you to make a huge step, philosophically speaking, to understand and to accept that somehow there is another specie which is quite similar as we are.”

From a dolphinarium in Constanta, a scientific director, Nicolae Papadopol stated that Romania had good enough laws to protect its dolphins without Cernea’s bill, adding that the dolphin trick shows which are done by the only two dolphins in Romania (both bought from China in 2010) had been a source of Romanian pride. He stated that “Romanians have something good, and you are coming with this initiative to destroy it.”

Denisha Sahadevan

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A Bill to Protect Dolphins