Worldlog Week 06 – 2010

12 February 2010

Last Sunday during the kick-off of the municipal elections in Amsterdam I welcomed our ten-thousandth member! The elections are set for 3 March and the Party for the Animals is participating in six municipalities. Our ten-thousandth member told us that she joined because we are the only party with a planet-wide focus and, unlike the other parties, we choose not to fight purely for the short-term benefit of Western society and its financial interests. Extremely inspiring words from our new member. I am pleased that ever more people are finding our work important and wanting to join the party.

We kicked off the municipal elections campaign in style in The Hague on Saturday 13 February. We passed out an animal-friendly Valentine’s surprise to people in the city centre to spread our message. I am very pleased with the strong candidates we are fielding and with the enthusiasm and dedication with which they are going to fight for the rights of animals, nature and the environment at the local level.

This week the Dutch Safety Board rightly called for a broader inquiry into the Q-fever outbreak. They argue that an inquiry by the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and the Environment should shed more light on the agrarian sector. The chairman of the Dutch Safety Board, Pieter van Vollenhoven, points out that,as it is now, the sector regulates itself in the areas of public health, animal welfare and food quality. I consider completely irresponsible that the government is not in charge of supervising and regulating this sector. I am committed to changing this state of affairs!

The Cabinet has finally admitted in a letter to the Lower House that the information provided leading up to the Iraq decision (the Cabinet decision to support the American invasion of Iraq) left something to be desired. We are pleased that a number of the criticisms voiced by the Davids Committee, which is conducting the inquiry into the decision by the Dutch government regarding Iraq, have been underscored by the Cabinet. Yet many differences remain between the coalition partners concerning the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and I wonder if those major differences can ever be bridged. Early elections are certainly a distinct possibility. We will be debating the issue in the next few weeks in parliament. I am curious to see how this will all pan out!

We are happy to see that Wakker Dier, a Dutch animal rights organization that opposes factory farming, swung into action last week about the misleading advertising campaign of supermarket chain Super de Boer regarding their so-called animal-friendly pork on their website and in their magazine ‘Lekker Leven’. They are demanding that Super de Boer withdraw the magazine ‘Lekker Leven’ and stop the campaign on their website. Wakker Dier also demands that Super de Boer publically rectify the story about sustainable animal-friendly pork. Wakker Dier is threatening legal action otherwise. I hope that Super de Boer has learned its lesson and will no longer advertise pork as being animal friendly when it clearly is not.

Until next week, Marianne