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Will Dolphins and Whales Get Legal Rights?

Jul 26, 2012 11:12 AM EDT
A group of animal advocates is fighting to have animals recognized as legal beings.	 (Photo: Reuters)

A group of animal advocates is fighting to have animals recognized as legal beings, a new thought in extending the concept of legal existence to living beings other than humans.

Animals like dolphins and whales have been shown to be extremely intelligent and various research studies have proven that they have very intelligent thought patterns which are depicted in their behaviour. Now a group of animal rights advocates is pushing to seek legal rights for the majestic species.

The Nonhuman Rights Project has to make legal case in a court of law, and it is expected that this will be done over the coming years. If they are successful, a dolphin could be the first animal to be awarded the status of a legal person.

"The problem so far is that all nonhuman animals are seen as being legal things," mother nature network quoted Steven Wise, an animal law scholar, attorney and founder of the project as saying.

"If you're a legal person, you have the capacity to have rights. That's the fundamental problem we intend to attack, said Wise who has been addressing the issue of animals, rights and the law for years.

The volunteers of the project will be reviewing the laws in all 50 states across the United States and file their lawsuits in state and appeal to freedom of unlawful detention, according to a report in Wired.

For years scientists and campaigners have been demanding legal rights to be granted for dolphins and whales. They have been asking to declare these marine mammals as "non-human" persons.

nce the law is passed, the mammals will get legal rights to live. This will help to keep hunters at bay and aquariums, marine parks will be barred from keeping whales and dolphins in captivity.

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