SAN DIEGO (CBS8) - Local activists protested on Saturday, calling for the Navy to end its dolphin program

About a dozen animal rights supporters gathered on the Harbor Drive Bridge overlooking a dolphin containment area run by the military. For years, dolphins and other marine mammals have been used in training programs by the U.S. Navy. Protesters say the practice is inhumane and outdated. 

Activists say they would like for the dolphins to be moved from their small enclosures to an animal sanctuary. 

The U.S. Navy issued the following statement:

The Navy Marine Mammal Program meets or exceeds all standards set by federal government agencies and independent professional organizations. Marine mammals in the Navy’s Marine Mammal Program (NMMP) provide vital and essential capabilities that save lives and protect our Sailors and Marines, at sea and while in port. The Navy’s long term goal is to develop technologies that will replace marine mammals in performing those same missions, but we aren't there yet. Until then, we are committed to providing the highest level of care for our marine mammals while also meeting our principal obligation of doing everything possible to guard and protect America’s national security interests around the world.