"The time is always right to do what's right": right now we need to support all vulne­rable groups

7 April 2020

The Dutch Party for the Animals and sister parties worldwide call for measures to help people and animals through the corona crisis. Vulnerable groups are hit hardest and it takes courage, compassion, and solidarity to provide help where it is needed. Worldwide, for people and animals. The Party for the Animals supports measures to contain the coronavirus and calls for additional measures to limit animal suffering and prevent recurrences in the future.

Corona crisis affects people and animals.

European emergency package
One thing is clear: we must work together internationally to overcome the coronavirus. "It is very important that countries are supported as quickly and effectively as possible in the containment of this outbreak. We must now show solidarity with each other worldwide", said MEP Anja Hazekamp of the Dutch Party for the Animals. Two weeks ago she voted for the European emergency package that allows EU countries to use European subsidies for research into the coronavirus and expanding the capacity of healthcare.

Still, the Party for the Animals is also critical of the emergency package. "Some measures are aimed at resuming 'business as usual' as soon as possible once the corona crisis is under control. The way in which our current economy is organized is unsustainable in the long term. Now is the time to rethink; to redesign our economy in a way that fits within the boundaries of our Earth", said Hazekamp.

Consequences corona for animals

The Greek Party for the Animals calls to not let stray animals be left to fend for themselves.

The corona crisis causes a lot of extra animal suffering. In intensive livestock farming, the reduced 'throughput speed' leads to overcrowded stables while the loss of staff leads to even less supervision in overloaded slaughterhouses. Animals on transport die in crowded trucks due to delays at the border. Pets are put on the street for fear of infection, stray dogs and cats suffer from hunger and thirst.

The Dutch Party for the Animals has therefore called on the Dutch government to impose breeding restrictions within livestock farming and to reduce the number of animals slaughtered per day. The party also advocates ensuring that veterinarians and animal caretakers in shelters can continue to do their work during a lockdown. Earlier, Anja Hazekamp made an urgent request to the European Commission to halt international animal transports.

Sister parties in Belgium, Italy, Cyprus, and Spain have also called on their governments not to forget vulnerable animals and to enable the people who care for them to continue working. The Greek Party for the Animals has requested the government to establish a special animal unit within the new ministry to address Covid-19.

The Italian Partito Animalista calls on the government to communicate clearly that pets are not a risk of contamination - a persistent rumor that has been debunked by the WHO but still causes pets to end up on the street. And the Animal Party Cyprus is calling on citizens and local animal feed distributors to donate food now that shelters and volunteer projects are no longer getting food from restaurants - especially as shelters are getting overcrowded and adoptions have been delayed due to travel restrictions.

Success for animal activists in Asia

Animal activists from the Animal Liberation Wave in South Korea in front of the Democratic Party office.

In Asia too, the animal rights movement is growing steadily and the call for an end to the exploitation of animals is getting louder. After a successful campaign in Taiwan - the first country in Asia to ban the consumption of dogs and cats - animal activists such as the World Dog Alliance achieved another success last week. The Chinese city of Shenzhen, with more than 11 million inhabitants, also banned the sale and eating of dog and cat meat.

Not now?
The Party for the Animals and its sister parties believe that animal suffering always deserves a place on the political agenda - even in times of crisis. They see it as their duty to continue to point out that the fate of humans and animals is inextricably linked. Our interaction with animals is the origin and the key to prevent a crisis like this from happening again. "The time is always right to do what's right", like Martin Luther King Jr. said. According to the Party for the Animals, we can all use this crisis to reevaluate our relation with animals, raw materials, and nature.