Worldlog Week 27 – 2010

9 Ιουλίου 2010

It's hot in Holland! We hope that both people and animals will be able to ride out this heat and that animals in the fields will be given sufficient water and shelter to get away from the burning sun. Because of the persistent heat, the Party for the Animals argued for a ban on cattle transport on days where the mercury climbs above 28 degrees. In the Netherlands, the Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority carries out checks on animal transport to verify that transporters are observing the regulations but I believe these regulations cannot sufficiently guarantee animal welfare in times of tropical heat. I argued for quicker action from Minister Verburg and her Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, with an eye to the coming summer months. The animals cannot bear the high temperatures in the cattle trucks, and transport can take hours.

The Party for the Animals is additionally indignant about the Ministers of Agriculture and Public Health's policy surrounding Q-fever. It is a disease found in goats that is communicable to humans, from which 15 people in the Netherlands have died. Last week yet another case of Q-fever infection was reported on a goat farm in Lunteren, the Netherlands. According to the Party for the Animals, this proves that it is far too early to ease the ban on breeding and transporting goats that was introduced six months ago to combat the disease. We should wait at least another half a year. Breeding infected goats increases the numbers of Q-fever bacteria which are mostly released during birth and abortions.

The Party for the Animals has already spoken out once against easing the measures against Q-fever. I believe this new infection shows how irresponsible it is to remove the transport and breeding ban as of 15 July. People can be severely sickened by the Q-fever bacteria, which only serves to increase the number of bacteria in the environment. The minister should announce a lifelong breeding ban as used to be dine in similar cases.

And finally a little news surrounding the governmental negotiations in the Netherlands. The largest party, the liberal People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) is now talking with the Dutch Labour Party (PvdA), GroenLinks and D66 to form a cabinet. They have still have not worked out the most essential issues, but the differences and similarities between all the parties are now being charted. I hope that these parties can work together to form a cabinet.

One last bit of news: It's summer holiday time in the Netherlands and so for the next six weeks there will be no WorldLog. I wish everyone a fantastic summer and see you again at the end of August!