Worldlog week 21 – 2015
I want to thank everyone who voted for me over the past few weeks in the Greenest Politician 2015 election! Last Sunday, I was given the prize during the nature programme Vroege Vogels (Early Birds) on Radio 1. The Greenest Politician is an election that puts Dutch politicians who fight for nature and the environment in the centre of attention. It is organised by Natuurmonumenten, a social organisation which works on the preservation of nature in the Netherlands. In total 26 politicians could be elected. In the first ballot, I received the most votes of the public, no less than 2598 out of 6887 votes. As a matter of fact, my colleague Esther Ouwehand also won the title of Greenest Politician in 2010.
I won “The Green Parliamentary seat”
Bad news: As from June of this year, geese are permitted to be gassed everywhere in the Netherlands. As if it wasn’t bad enough that geese were permitted to be gassed around Schiphol Airport only, the European Commission has withdrawn its prohibition to gas animals living in the wild with CO2 and it is now permitted to gas geese everywhere in our country. Of course I requested a debate!
Farmers do not want any geese on their land because they are a threat to their harvest. But the massive killing of geese with a gun or through gassing is not a structural solution. It only causes large-scale animal suffering. When a population is radically disrupted, the number of descendants will only grow. For example, research of Alterra showed that the geese population in the province of Utrecht grew by 9 per cent because of intensive shooting. If we want to make sure that people and geese do not bother each other, we will have to start applying more effective bird control methods and use the land more smartly. It is, for example, much better to make areas where geese cause a nuisance unattractive, for example, by growing types of grasses that they do not like. In other places where geese are not a nuisance, you can grow other grasses that actually attract geese, such as white clover. This successful landscape design has been used in Canada for years. Geese can also be scared from agricultural land with the help of laser beam technologies, which are very effective in the short and long term. For example, the prize-winning company ‘Bird Control Group‘ developed innovative animal-friendly bird control methods.
Over 12 million of animals are used for experiments in Europe. And this number continues to grow! The EU legislation from 2010 which was to reduce the number of animals is not working. Over 1.2 million people have signed the European citizen’s initiative against animal testing. This massive call of citizens to stop animal testing was debated on in the European Parliament last week. Of course our European representatives have given their full support to the European citizen’s initiative. We have pleaded for the accelerated phasing out of animal testing and to start using alternative test methods. Alternative methods to test medicine often appear to be even more effective and therefore safer. The European Commission, which has the power to amend EU legislation, said that it will not evaluate the existing legislation until 2018 at the earliest. Ridiculous! We are not going to leave it at that. 1.2 million signatures cannot just be ignored!
Have a wonderful week!