Worldlog Week 23 – 2010

11 June 2010

During the elections for the Lower Chamber last week, the Party for the Animals held onto its two seats, what a wonderful result! Dutch voters largely voted strategically and so gave some of our votes to the larger parties such as the Dutch Labour Party (PvdA), GroenLinks and the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD). We did however manage to hold onto our two seats in the electoral storm. Despite the headwind, as it were, we have still proved to be a stable factor in Dutch politics. The VVD – a right wing liberal group is now the largest party and will therefore be the first to attempt to form a government. During his coming time in the Lower House, my colleague Esther Ouwehand and I will constantly remind VVD leader Mark Rutte of the 'green rights' promises he made.

Below are some photos of the cheerful election night during which the results took an age. I look forward to and stand with our fantastic employees and volunteers to the second seat that was finally awarded in the wee hours.

On Tuesday 8 June a wonderful party member made sure a million readers of the 'Metro' newspaper were informed of how important a sustainable choice is by placing an ad at the eleventh hour on the cover. This certainly played a role in keeping our two seats.

The Netherlands also held elections in primary and secondary schools. These elections placed us as the third largest party in the Netherlands with 21 seats! We also scored well in secondary schools with 7 seats. A wonderful result. Children and young people think that animals, nature and the environment are important. These results assure us a good result in the future.

Last week I sent the 'Ban Unanaesthetised Ritual Slaughter' bill to the Lower House. This caused the private member's bill 'Ban on unanaesthetised ritual slaughter' to be confirmed in writing in the Lower House. Shocking images where shown of the unanaesthetised slaughter of cows, sheep and goats that suffered greatly and were severely abused. Animals are killed without anaesthetic for the halal market. Although the images in this Worldlog are from Belgian slaughterhouses, they are comparable to Dutch ritual slaughter. The images from Belgian organisation 'Gaia'. The text is in Dutch, but the images speak for themselves.

Every year two million animals, particularly calves, sheep and chickens have their throats cut without anaesthetic. Ritual slaughter causes unnecessary stress, is often done improperly and without supervision according to a statement from the Royal Dutch Society for Veterinary Medicine (KNMvD). The Party for the Animals has initiated its own private member's bill proposal because outgoing Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality – Minister Verburg proves time and time again that she does care about a ban on Unanaesthetised ritual slaughter.
Good news! The European Commission has banned catching Bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean Sea and in the eastern part of the Atlantic Ocean. The Party for the Animals is happy as the Bluefin tuna is facing extinction. We now have hope that the Bluefin tuna will be recognised as an endangered species and will gain international protected status. Unfortunately Japan and other Asian countries have up until now managed to hold back attempts to have the United Nation's efforts to officially declare the Bluefin tuna an endangered species.

One more interesting fact before I go: The English-language version of the book Meat the Truth is available as of 2 June from the Nicolaas G. Pierson Foundation, our scientific bureau! The book ‘Meat the Truth, Essays on Livestock Production, Sustainability and Climate Change’ is a follow-up to the eponymous documentary Meat the Truth – the first climate file to expose the link between cattle farming and the emission of greenhouse gasses. The English-language version of the documentary has been added to the book in DVD format. Would you like to order a copy of Meat the Truth, Essays on Livestock Farming, Sustainability and Climate Change? Then click here.

See you next week!