From Cetacean Rights:
From time to time we like to contact you to bring you news of the latest development in the campaign to have the rights of whales and dolphin recognised. This week the campaign has taken a giant leap forward with a national government citing the evidence for dolphin personhood and rights as one of the reasons for instigating a ban on dolphin captivity.
In a remarkable, but long-awaited move, the Indian Government has made the ban on dolphinaria in their country official.
Following the announcement in the Hindustan Times that India’s Minister of Environment and Forests, Jayanthi Natarajan would not allow the building of dolphinariums in India, the Central Zoo Authority issued a circular on 17th May to reiterate the Ministry’s decision not to allow the establishment of dolphinaria in the country and advising state governments across India to reject any dolphinarium proposals. This is a highly progressive stance from India’s Minister of Environment and Forests on this important issue.
In the only dolphinarium ever to operate in India, Dolphin City, all three Black Sea bottlenose dolphins died within months of the facility opening near Chennai in 1998. The facility was subsequently denied permission to import further dolphins but in recent years state governments across India have faced proposals to build dolphinaria and import dolphins from overseas.
The new government policy states, among other things, that ‘cetaceans in general are highly intelligent and sensitive, and various scientists who have researched dolphin behavior have suggested that the unusually high intelligence; as compared to other animals means that dolphin should be seen as “non-human persons” and as such should have their own specific rights and is morally unacceptable to keep them captive for entertainment purpose’. They state further that ‘cetaceans in general do not survive well in captivity’ and that ‘confinement in captivity can seriously compromise the welfare and survival of all types of cetaceans by altering their behaviour and causing extreme distress’; therefore, ‘the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India have decided not to allow establishment of dolpinarium in the country’.
Thank you again for signing the Declaration and being part of this movement. Please help continue to expand the campaign by forwarding the Declaration to your contacts, so that the groundswell of opinion can continue to influence similar debates and bring about real change for whales and dolphins.
- India bans captive dolphin shows, says they should be seen as ‘non-human persons’ (treehugger.com)
- India’s no to dolphinarium (blogs.nature.com)
- Conservationists hail decision to ban dolphineriums (vancouverdesi.com)
- India Bans Captive Dolphin Shows as ‘Morally Unacceptable’ (willyloman.wordpress.com)