24 May 2010:
‘Human Rights’ for Whales?
A group of conservationists and experts in law and ethics is arguing that whales and dolphins should received “human rights” and be protected from hunting because of growing evidence of the mammals’ intelligence
. Meeting in Helsinki, the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society issued a declaration
stating, “We affirm that all cetaceans as persons have the right to life, liberty and well-being.” Citing evidence that marine mammals have human-like self-awareness and the ability to communicate and organize complex societies, the society said that whales and dolphins should not be hunted or confined in marine parks, as is the case with killer whales at Sea World in Florida. The group issued its declaration of cetacean rights as the International Whaling Commission is considering a proposal to approve limited whale hunts, relaxing a 1986 moratorium. Some nations, including Japan and Norway, have continued limited whale hunts, with Japan pursuing minke whales in Antarctic waters for alleged research purposes.
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