Civil Liberties

India Declares Dolphins "Non-Human Persons" With Rights

Dolphin parks to be shut down.


It's been a while since the Hit & Run commentariat has had a big debate on animal rights, so I thought I'd let you all sink your teeth into this:

India has officially recognized dolphins as non-human persons, whose rights to life and liberty must be respected. Dolphin parks that were being built across the country will instead be shut down.

India's Ministry of Environment and Forests has advised state governments to ban dolphinariums and other commercial entertainment that involves the capture and confinement of cetacean species such as orcas and bottlenose dolphins. In a statement, the government said research had clearly established cetaceans are highly intelligent and sensitive, and that dolphins "should be seen as 'non-human persons' and as such should have their own specific rights."

Elsewhere in Reason: Nick Gillespie Sibilla discussed dolphin rights here last year.