Monday, May 25, 2015Monday, May 25, 2015

In election year, Romania debates giving human rights to dolphins

Published on Feb 15, 2014 4:27 AM

CONSTANTA (REUTERS) - Armed with an iPad and a letter of support from an Oscar-winning film director, Remus Cernea is pushing a cause that he acknowledges few of his fellow Romanian lawmakers care about: giving dolphins the same rights as humans.

The 39-year-old activist politician introduced a Bill in parliament last week that would recognise the marine mammals as"non-human persons", on account of their highly developed intelligence, personalities and behaviour patterns.

The Bill, which will be debated in the Romanian upper house in the coming weeks, would make humans and dolphins equal before the law. Dolphin killers would be given the same sentences as murderers of human beings. The bill would also ban the use of dolphins in live entertainment shows.

The aim of the Bill is to help protect Romania's indigenous dolphins in the Black Sea, Mr Cernea said. It would also add the country's voice to a global movement against dolphin killings.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!