Use of Dolphins by US Military condemned

Report from Opinion page of theTelegraph. 31st March 2003

Sir - The use of dolphins and sea lions by the American military in the war with Iraq must be unreservedly condemned. Dolphins are highly intelligent and sensitive animals. Using them in a war zone is deplorable.

When the United States used dolphins in the Persian Gulf during the Iran-Iraq war, it was reported that Iranian patrol boats would machine gun any dolphin they saw, fearing it might be laying mines.

Former trainers have alleged that dolphins are trained by withholding food (a common training method for captive dolphins) and physical beatings, and that electrodes are implanted to enable the military control room to stimulate the dolphins to attack.

There have even been claims, following the beaching of 22 dolphins in France five years ago with holes in their necks, that military-trained dolphins were fitted with a small explosive charge which was set off by radio-control if they "deserted".

Animals have been used as combatants and weapons for centuries. Footage of remote-controlled equipment that searches for mines in the oceans has been shown during television coverage of the war against Iraq. Why does the military feel the need to use a living creature, when they have another option that does the same job, without endangering either human or dolphin welfare?

Craig Redmond, Captive Animals' Protection Society, Liz Sandeman, The Marine Connection and Alan Cooper, Cetacea Defence


For more information on this topic see Veggies Against The War

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