Worldlog Week 27 – 2009

3 Ιουλίου 2009

What a busy week.
We finished the parliamentary year with a number of debates and votes in the Lower House. The Party for the Animals also protested the barbeque organised by the meat industry for Members of Parliament on the last day before the summer recess. This barbeque to celebrate the close of the parliamentary year was a lobby action from the cattle, meat and egg marketing boards, and the fact that parliamentarians and other members of government allowed the factory farming industry to fund their celebration went unreported, so we therefore thought it deserved a mention.

The politicians who gathered in the Lower House’s courtyard for their yearly portion of free meat were also treated to noises recorded in the factory farming industry. We played them from speakers situated in our offices directly above the barbeque. It was our way of reminding them of where their steaks and chicken drumsticks come from. The giant speakers played the lowing of cows, the grunting of pigs and the clucking of chickens. We also blew up huge cow and pig balloons that bumped up against the pigeon net that had been hung over the barbeque.

The Party for the Animals believes it is a disgrace for politicians to allow the meat industry to lobby so openly on Lower House grounds each year.

There is talk of bee extinction.
Seeds from plants, especially corn, that are treated with pesticides as neonicotinoids, produce plants that are extremely damaging to bees. It is not only the nectar and pollen that harm them, but also the guttation and dew they drink from these plants. They then consume higher doses of neonicotinoids that previously thought and die within 2 to10 minutes of drinking the fluid, or after 20 to 40 minutes after merely ‘tasting’ the fluid. The droplets on these plants contain concentrations expressed in ppm (parts per million), whereas it proves fatal to bees at concentrations one thousand times lower, expressed in parts per billion (ppb).

Minister Verberg and I debated each other this week on the sustainability of the cultivation under glass industry. The minister appeared to be badly informed and opined that ‘bees do not visit corn’. The many experts present at the debate in the public gallery were audibly shocked at this suggestion! Bees do collect pollen from cornflowers and use it, along with pollen from other flowers, to make bee pollen. The bees make bee pollen from a great deal of pollen and a little nectar, it is a major source of nutrients and their source of protein. They also feed it to their larvae.

Click here for Professor Vincenzo Girolami’s latest research. It is a shocking film about the influence insecticides have on bee mortality.

In addition to the Dutch ban on mink breeding ban we worked hard to actualise, the lower house also accepted a motion that obliges Minister Verburg to work towards a Europe-wide ban on breeding mink. I’m excited about what the Upper House will do, the matter will probably be settled by the Christian Union party.

We also are fighting the retraction of the Sea Shepard’s sailing licence that the cabinet is so keen on achieving. We are pushing to have the law changed. It is truly ridiculous to want to protect illegal whalers against people who want to defend the whales!

See you again next week!