Animal rights activists around the world found themselves outraged at the latest animal torture story to come out of Argentina. According to reports, a baby dolphin was taken from the ocean on Santa Teresita beach in Buenos Aires. The dolphin was then passed back and forth between several beach goers as they took pictures and selfies with the helpless, and suffocating, animal. To make matters worse, the defenceless dolphin was then tossed to the beach and left to finish the last few moments of its life.
The outrage poured onto social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, and even Tumblr asking why, or even how, this could possibly happen in today’s society. The outrage has lead to questions regarding Argentina’s laws as well as the animal rights laws around the world that would have aided this poor animal.
Argentina’s Animal Protection Laws
This isn’t the first time Argentina has made animal rights headlines. In December 2014, the headlines were regarding Argentinean courts ruling that an orangutan in one of the countries zoo’s had basic rights and should be protected. Unfortunately, thought the country does have several animal rights advocacy groups, they don’t seem to have anyone enforcing those rights as a whole. Cases appear to be held on a per case basis. This means that there was nothing really in place that would have prevented the incident that happened at Santa Teresita.
Enforcement of Laws
The truth is, many court decisions related to animals tend to fall under what rights and protections the animals, like the baby dolphin, should have rather than what they will have. This has led many animal rights groups to protest requesting not only a change in the wording of laws from should to will, but also enact and enforcement of those laws. For example, the beach ideally would have had some form of animal protection enforcement that would have fined the people involved and released the baby dolphin safely back into the waters.
Individual Animal Advocacy
Outrage regarding any animal rights violations tends to spread through social media like wildfire. Unfortunately, it tends to stop with outrage and social media posting and doesn’t go much further. For real change to take effect, people have to start voicing their outrage through the proper channels. Instead of just posting on social media and passing around the images of the abuse, outraged animal rights advocates should begin using petition signing platforms like Care2 to have their voices heard beyond a 180 character limit.
Currently, there are a few sites that are calling for the identification and judicial call to action for those responsible in the baby dolphin’s death. Some petitions are popping up, but make sure if you sign them that they are being sent to the proper channels. PETA can help, but making sure the Argentina government gets the petition can push the issue into the right hands.