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Updated: 03/13/2014 02:59:23PM

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Dolphins playing with hula hoop

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dolphins = people?

Armed with an iPad and a letter of support from an Oscar-winning film director, Remus Cernea is pushing a cause that he acknowledges few of his fellow Romanian lawmakers care about: giving dolphins the same rights as humans. The 39-year-old activist politician introduced a bill in parliament last week that would recognize the marine mammals as “non-human persons”, on account of their highly developed intelligence, personalities and behavior patterns. The bill, which will be debated in the Romanian upper house in the coming weeks, would make humans and 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. But gathering domestic support may be tough in a year when Romania goes to the polls twice, first in the European elections in May and later to vote for a new president. Animal rights will have to find space alongside issues such as corruption and raising living standards and public services in the European Union’s second poorest country. “At this moment, I have no support,” Cernea told Reuters during a visit to the city of Constanta on the Black Sea coast.

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