Human rights urged for dolphins

Whales and dolphins should get “human rights” to life and liberty because of mounting evidence of their intelligence, a group of conservationists and experts in philosophy, law and ethics said on Sunday.

Japan, Norway and Iceland, the main whaling nations, oppose such arguments that would outlaw hunting or even keeping the mammals in marine parks. They have long said there is no real evidence that they are smarter, for instance, than cows or pigs.
Participants at a University of Helsinki conference said ever more studies show the giant marine mammals have human-like self-awareness, an ability to communicate and organise complex societies, making them similar to some great apes.
“We affirm that all cetaceans as persons have the right to life, liberty and wellbeing,” they said in a declaration after a two-day meeting led by the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society.
Hal Whitehead, a biology professor at Dalhousie University in Canada, said there was more evidence that whales have human-like culture. —Reuters

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