Worldlog Week 13 – 2013

25 March 2013

My week was partly dominated by the Dutch Royal House. On the 30th of April Prince Willem-Alexander will swear an oath at his investiture as King. Parliamentarians in the Netherlands also swear allegiance to the Constitution when they accept their office. Additionally, Members of the States General are expected to swear allegiance to the King on the 30th of April. “We swear (promise) to maintain your inviolability and the rights of your kingship.”

The three of us (the full group of the Party for the Animals) wrote an opinion article saying that we think that the swearing of allegiance to the King is at odds with the Constitution even with the oath that the King will take, in which he promises to protect the rights of all Dutch citizens. The same counts for the oath of parliamentarians to represent the people without a mandate. So MPs should not undertake duties of loyalty towards a person when they have already sworn or promised allegiance to the Constitution.

We will be there in the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) where the succession will take place, we will congratulate the King on his inauguration and wish him an exemplary future in all aspects, but will do so without taking an oath or making a solemn affirmation!

The time has come to severely restrict the privileges of hunters. That is why I submitted two motions this week through which hunting in the Netherlands can be restricted to a great extent.

One initiative addresses the stopping of hunting for pleasure of wild ducks, hares, rabbits, pheasants and wood pigeons, so that in the next hunting season those animals will also have rights. Additionally, I have submitted a bill to put an end to the continued existence of rented hunting rights when selling land. Hunters need a hunting area of at least 40 hectares to be permitted to hunt. Hunters are happy to rent hunting rights against payment from owners of land that meet those requirements. As a result the new owners are burdened with hunters, even when they don’t actually want any hunters on their newly acquired land. This should be stopped. Hunting for pleasure is cruel and each year it causes unnecessary harm to animals. Every single animal should have rights in the coming hunting season and that’s why action should be taken now!

Bad news for the bees. The European Union refuses to prohibit hazardous pesticides to prevent the death of bees. The Netherlands itself should therefore just prohibit the poisonous neonicotinoids and fipronil. Because poisonous pesticides, like neonicotioides, have formed a great threat to bees for years while bees are an indispensible link in our ecosystem. State Secretary Dijksma has made every effort over the past few weeks to effect a European moratorium on neonicotinoides. This week however it appeared during the voting in the European Parliament about the moratorium that countries like England, Hungary and Denmark have blocked this prohibition under pressure from the lobby of the chemical industry.

Now that some cows have returned to the meadows again, and many others have to stay in their stalls all year round, it seems like the right time to circulate the protest song ‘Cows with Guns’ again.

Our documentary ‘The Hare in the Marathon’ about ten years of the Party for the Animals has already been subtitled into English and will soon be translated into Turkish too. Other languages will follow! See for the English subtitling.

Last Friday it was World Water Day. According to the World Water Forum seventy percent of the world population will no longer have free access to clean drinking water in 2017. This will in particular hit developing countries hard. For that reason the priority for developing cooperation should lie with clean drinking water.

And Saturday night it was time again for Earth Hour. All over the world people, companies and institutions turned off the light for an hour to bring attention to climate change. It was great that so many people were part of the solution instead of being part of the problem this evening. Hopefully it has inspired everyone to continue working on this solution!

Enjoy this week, greetings Marianne.