Worldlog Week 04 – 2013

21 January 2013

It has been busy at work this week. My colleague Esther was in Berlin for a few days last week for ‘Grüne Woche’. This is a large international event that covers agriculture and agricultural development. Businesses from all around the world present their products and hold lectures about such things as the future of the agriculture. Esther said there is still a lot of work to be done in the agricultural sector and that it is '“One great big denial of the misery factory agriculture causes”. The fact that we need to turn to a more organic, regional type of agriculture has unfortunately not yet sunk in with the many visitors to ‘Grüne Woche’, but that won't last forever!

Great news this week: Poland has banned unanaesthetised ritual slaughter as of 1 January 2013! Hopefully this is something we'll manage in the Netherlands too. I, at any rate, am tabling a new legislative proposal to get this underway.

The 'Gardaland' amusement park in Italy has said goodbye to their dolphins. The owner decided that these four dolphins – who had to perform each and every day – are allowed to retire. I think allowing dolphins to perform does not show these beautiful animals any respect. Congratulations from the Netherlands for making the right decision! May many more amusement parks follow this good example. 🙂

I am consumed by trying to stop the 'Goose Accord's' terrible plan to gas more than 500,000 geese in the coming years. The Goose Accord is an agreement between six organisations, the Dutch Federation of Agricultural and Horticultural Organizations, and the provinces. I'm going to ask State Secretary Dijksma of Economic Affairs to intervene and prevent mass goose death during the Agriculture and Nature budget debate.

The increasing number of geese in the Netherlands is largely caused by the ever-increasing supply of highly protein-rich grassland created by large-scale agricultural fertilizer use. Plus, gassing geese is an entirely useless measure in combating any type of nuisance they may cause. It's a complete waste of time and effort as migrating geese will simply fill the empty space once occupied by the previous geese.

There are also animal-friendly measures available to us, such as stopping the fox hunts. The fox has an important role to play in controlling geese populations. We also need to create more attractive areas for the geese to inhabit and we need to work towards developing animal-friendly ways of chasing animals away.
After a year-long discussion on what is causing bee death, the European Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority has concluded that neonicotinoids, a highly poisonous agricultural poison, pose an acute and serious health hazard to bees. We want them to be removed from the market immediately.

We've made this argument many times before, but the new State Secretary did not want to take any action because he wanted to wait for the EFSA, or European Food Safety Authority's verdict. Last week, the EFSA confirmed in its report that pesticides such as imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam are a significant factor in this alarming bee death trend. So let's work towards a ban!

Cannes (a city in France) has named Chipotle's ad 'Back to the Start' to be the World's Best Commercial for 2012. This is a fantastic commercial that rails against factory farming and has meanwhile been viewed seven million times. Still haven't seen it? Then click here.

Something to finish up: ‘Heart Of The Country’ by Paul and Linda McCartney.

See you next week, Marianne