Esther’s Blog: Together we force govern­ments to protect human, animal, and planet health

20 Οκτωβρίου 2020

In my previous blog I already wrote: positive change is in the air. Political pressure is therefore more than ever needed to make this change happen. For a liveable planet and the welfare of people and animals. The Party for the Animals exerts that political pressure, together with our sister parties, citizens, and social organizations. Last month we saw good examples of this.

No animals in captivity
Growing political pressure means governments must take animal welfare more and more seriously. The French government recently announced a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses, a ban on mink farms, and a ban on dolphinariums. Great Breakthrough! More and more countries are making the same choice. Thanks to the efforts of the Party for the Animals, citizens, and social organizations, there is already a ban in the Netherlands on the use of wild animals in circuses and mink farms. Now a ban on dolphinariums.

The Party for the Animals has always indicated that the dolphins in the Dutch dolphinarium are suffering. They are used for tricks, cannot exhibit natural behaviour, and have to swim endlessly around in too small concrete tanks. In 2016 we had the famous Ric O'Barry speak about this in the Dutch Parliament. A long time ago, O'Barry trained dolphins for the hit television series Flipper. Through his contact with these social and intelligent animals, he changed his mind and is now a world-renowned dolphin protector. O'Barry explained to Dutch politicians that dolphinariums are nothing more than circus shows and certainly not a place for dolphins.

This month, this was also confirmed by an expert report commissioned by the Dutch government. The report's conclusions are devastating: the dolphinarium is a miserable prison for dolphins, where the animals are nothing more than a kind of surfboard for humans. Time to stop this circus with animals too!

Dolphin protector Ric O'Barry, together with the Party for the Animals in the Dutch parliament.

Meat industry tackled as a hotbed of the coronavirus
Another important breakthrough after political pressure: last week the Dutch House of Representatives adopted our proposal for a plan of action to combat the coronavirus in the meat industry!

Companies in the meat industry have turned out to be hotbeds for Covid-19 all over the world. People in slaughterhouses are now working shoulder to shoulder to keep up with the extremely high slaughter rates, with all the health risks that entails. Production in the Netherlands is even increasing now, despite the fact that our country is one of the largest corona hotbeds in the world at the moment. The increased production and the lack of intervention in the meat sector has only an economic reason: the Netherlands sees an opportunity to export even more meat to countries such as China. In doing so, the Dutch government is putting public health on the line for even more money.

It cannot be explained that cultural institutions must meet strict corona requirements and close the catering industry, while the meat sector is given free rein to kill even more animals and further endanger its own staff. Now that our proposal from last week has been adopted, the minister must do everything in their power to prevent corona hotbeds in the meat industry.

Canada, speak up for human and animal welfare!

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is put on the spot by one crucial question from Jordan Reichert, vice president of the Canadian Animal Protection Party.

I've said it before: we need more bold politicians. One such politician is Jordan Reichert, vice-chairman of our Canadian sister party Animal Protection Party. On October 24 he will participate in the provincial elections in Canada (Victoria-Beacon Hill). He has an important message that none of the other parties dares to convey: governments must put the welfare of people, animals, and the environment first! In 2018, I spoke to Jordan at an international meeting with our sister parties. He shows commitment to the welfare of people, fights injustice, and advocates for an end to animal exploitation.

Jordan also previously impressed by openly confronting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for his mismanagement when it comes to animal welfare. Watch Jordan's fantastic performance in the video above. So go Canada, give Jordan your vote!

Until next time,

Esther Ouwehand
(Parliamentary leader Party for the Animals)