View from Rhino House: hidden depths

Slightly weird Romanian MP, Remus Cernea, is pushing a parliamentary bill that he acknowledges few of his fellow Romanian lawmakers are likely to support: giving dolphins the same rights as humans. The (frankly rather over-excited) MP introduced a bill in parliament last week that would recognise the marine mammals as “non-human persons”, on account of their highly developed intelligence, personalities & behaviour patterns (none of which are traits highly valued in the Romanian parliament, nor are they obviously present in many of Remus’ colleagues).

The bill, which will be debated in the Romanian upper house next month, would make humans & dolphins “equal before the law.” Dolphin killers would be given the same sentences as murderers of human beings & the bill would also ban the use of dolphins in live entertainment shows.

To back his cause, Remus has received a letter of support from American filmmaker Louie Psihoyos, maker of a 2009 documentary, The Cove, about dolphin hunting in Japan. But gathering domestic support may be difficult in a year when Romania goes to the polls twice, first in the European elections in May & later to vote for a new president.

“At this moment, I have no support,” Remus said during a visit to the city of Constanta on the Black Sea coast (probably an overstatement).

“This law asks you to make a huge step, philosophically speaking, to understand & to accept that somehow there is another species which is quite similar to us,” he added.

Remus split from Romania’s Green Party to be an independent MP last year in circumstances that he is a little vague about, but which his former colleagues characterise as “throwing the loons overboard.”

Just a guess, but I don’t think Remus is destined for a long career in politics.

"So can I count on your support?" "Well, Remus, usually I'm a 'don't know', but if there's a fish in it - I'm your man."

“So can I count on your support?”
“Well, Remus, usually I’m a ‘don’t know’, but if there’s a fish in it – I’m your man.”

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