When India Banned Dolphins For Commercial Entertainment

In 2013, the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests of India decided not to allow the establishment of dolphinariums in the country either by private parties or by government agencies. It asked all states not to allow import or capture of marine mammals or their use for commercial entertainment and private or public exhibition. Pointing out that dolphins are highly intelligent and sensitive, official explained that various scientists who have researched dolphin behavior have suggested that they have unusually high intelligence compared to other animals. This means that dolphins should be seen as “non-human persons" and as such should have their own specific rights. This means that it's morally unacceptable to keep them captive for entertainment purposes. The order further explained that whales, dolphins and porpoises don’t adjust well to living in captivity and that confinement alters their behavior and causes extreme distress. Several countries, including Brazil, the UK and Chile, have since banned dolphins in captivity.