A retired US Admiral has gone on record recently confirming that the US Navy has trained dolphins to detect mines and that they’re ready and willing to use them in the Strait of Hormuz, a strategically important sea passage out of the Persian Gulf. Iran has threatened to block the route as a protest against sanctions introduced in response to its nuclear policies.
As many as 80 dolphins have been trained this way if previous reports and the comment from Admiral Tim Keating are to be believed. Some reports say the dolphins are trained to drop transponders near the mines in readiness for naval disposal teams; others say the dolphins would trigger mines and die in the explosion. Whatever the method, dolphins – enlisted or free – would become a prime target for Iranian forces.
Writing in the Guardian, Peter Singer, professor of bioethics at Princeton University, accuses the US Navy of ‘speciesism’:
“Animals, or at least those who are conscious and capable of suffering or enjoying their lives, are not things for us to use in whatever way we find convenient. To believe that, because they are members of a different species, we can ignore or discount their interests is speciesism, a form of prejudice against beings who are not ‘us’ that is akin to racism and sexism.”
WDCS agrees with Professor Singer and is a signatory of the Declaration of Rights for Cetaceans