India Declares Dolphins To Be “Non-Human Persons”, Dolphin Shows Banned





India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests have made a groundbreaking decision, to completely forbid the keeping of captive dolphins for public entertainment in the entire country.

A statement about their new police was released Friday, the ministry advised the state governments to deny any proposals that requested the establishment of a dolphinarium.

“by any person / persons, organizations, government agencies, private or public enterprises that involve import, the capture of cetacean species to establish for commercial entertainment, private or public exhibition and interaction purposes whatsoever.”

Why did the ministry come to this decision?

The ministry elaborated their first statement with these words,

“Whereas 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 dolphins 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,” the ministry said.

Related Article: Just Like Humans, Dolphins Have Social Networks

For some reason back in May, this wonderful topic managed to evade worldwide attention including the media’s.  Since the meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science back in 2011, when a group consisting of conservationists, philosophers, and animal behaviorists attempted to gain world wide support for a Declaration of Rights for Cetaceans from the scientific communities, to ensure the re-categorization of Cetaceans (porpoises, whales, and dolphins) as nonhuman persons have been gathering strong momentum.

Related Article: Wild Dolphins Exchange Names When They Meet At Sea.

The Declaration is stated below:

  1. Every individual cetacean has the right to life.
  2. No cetacean should be held in captivity or servitude; be subject to cruel treatment; or be removed from their natural environment.
  3. All cetaceans have the right to freedom of movement and residence within their natural environment.
  4. No cetacean is the property of any State, corporation, human group or individual.
  5. Cetaceans have the right to the protection of their natural environment.
  6. Cetaceans have the right not to be subject to the disruption of their cultures.
  7. The rights, freedoms and norms set forth in this Declaration should be protected under international and domestic law.You might be wondering what it means to say an animal has “rights”?  Here is a quick description of what that looks like,

    “Unlike[…] positive rights, such as the ‘right’ to education or health care, the animal right is, at the bottom, a right to be left alone. It does not call for the government to tax us in order to provide animals with food, shelter, and veterinary care. It only requires us to stop killing them and making them suffer.”

    That seems more than reasonable enough right?  Since the intelligence of dolphins has been established for quite some time this declaration really doesn’t seem to be a revolutionary move.  These beings all show signs of not only to be self-aware but have the capability of using tools, cooperating to solve different tasks, and even more recently we have discovered that they may possibly be able to communicate to one another using individual names.

    I believe that what this declaration does for the other sentient beings of the sea is that we are relinquishing our self-proclaimed right to become masters of other sentient beings that at some point were deemed below us.  In a perfect world, we would not use the abilities that we have gained as human beings to subjugate other beings, whether it be animal human or plant.  If we would just work together and live together as one, we would be able to solve most, if not all the issues of the world.  I believe this declaration made by India, is surely a step in the right direction.

    Read the rest of the article here, and see the trailer for the winning movie, “The Cove”…..

    Related Article:Dolphins Slaughtered in Japan’s Taiji (Killing) Cove (VIDEO)

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26 Reader Comments

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Nice they relate to people when not feeling fearful anyway.

  2.' Fenny VDijk says:

    That’s cool and all, but if I’m not mistaken India is where women get gangraped and the perpetrators state on camera that they believe the victim was at fault for “fighting back”, no?
    Seems they need their priorities checked .. Not that I dont like dolphins or anything but.. yknow.

  3.' Elaine Osman says:

    Whoopee. Way to go India…. #Following

  4.' Magman Gamman says:

    India at the helm for beings basic rights compassion materialized

  5.' Robert L West says:

    They are more human than Trump.

  6.' Chris Mccrumb says:

    Tammy Ware McCrumb

  7.' Beau Vrstala says:


  8.' Mykal Lorenzo says:


  9.' Doris Pearson says:

    How about laws that make women equal to dolphins so they can be protected.

  10.' nancy says:

    It seams as though India prizes cetaceans over women and girls……

  11.' Karen Fraser says:

    Beautiful, next step women’s rights.

  12.' Hadi Prihastoro says:

    how about women rights ?

  13.' Siv Anita Larsen says:


  14.' B.j. Figueroa says:

    Include half human mer people too.

  15.' Rudaina Kutnaji says:

    I think they should care about human rights first to look at their neighbours in Bourma to see how people are burnt to death and children and babies were killed only because of their religion. Shame on the so called world of humanity

  16.' Keifer MC Khalifa says:


  17.' Robert Smith says:

    they are our closest relatives in the animal world !

  18.' Cody Alexander says:

    The bible says some sea creatures have souls. For the dolphin I have reason to believe that their contribution to society is amazing.

  19.' Madeline Taylor says:

    Wonderful! Good for India for leading the way towards greater empathy and at-one-ment with other animals. Now maybe they’ll develop greater capacity for empathy with WOMEN!

  20.' Ruud van Tilburg says:


  21.' Henna Almahmeedi says:

    In India they even dnt stand for women…no one is safe ..system us fully currpt…

  22.' Jonathan Brown says:

    we’ve known this about marine animals for decades. whwere has India been?

  23.' Carlos Pietri Acevedo says:

    Very wise

  24.' Yvonne Sillitoe says:

    Good on them.

  25.' Derek Casanares says:

    Is there anything I can do to reconnect and do things the right way?
    You don’t have to give me the cold shoulder?

    From Derek Casanares

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