Worldlog week 23 – 2015
Hunters going on hunting trips to Africa for tens of thousands of euros to hunt for endangered species are still allowed to import their hunting trophies such as ivory, tigers skins, and lion heads. This is because hunting trophies are considered as ‘personal property’ by European and Dutch legislation. It is a short-cut to illegal trade, called wildlife crime. The Party for the Animals believes that there should be an import ban on hunting trophies. I will shortly table a motion on this, and last week we already held a debate on this. The State Secretary has promised to find out if she can still prohibit these hunting trophies!
If you pursue the subject of wildlife crime further, you will find out that it is a serious threat to biodiversity. It is also a problem for world stability because it is a great source of income for criminal and terrorist networks. About 30,000 elephants are poached every year. Over the past year, 1,215 rhinos were killed for their horns in South-Africa, and there are less than 400 wild lions in West-Africa because the rest has been killed. Meanwhile, Australia has imposed an import ban on hunting trophies of lions and the United States has banned elephant trophies. In February 2015, the EU imposed a number of import restrictions on African lions, polar bears, African elephants, southern white rhinos, hippopotamuses, and argalis sheep. The Netherlands is an important import and transit country. An import ban is therefore necessary.
The elections to the Senate were held last week. These are indirect elections where all new members of the Provincial Council can vote for the candidates of the Senate. Thanks to our successful Provincial Council elections, our party grew from 1 seat to 2 seats in the Senate. Our current senator Niko Koffeman, who has been active in the Senate for the Party for the Animals for years, will now be joined by Christine Teunissen. She is the youngest Senate member being 29 years old. Congratulations, Christine!
Last week, we campaigned strongly against the plans to massively gas geese in the Netherlands. It is scandalous that geese are going to be gassed; it is a very cruel method and will not help against the alleged surplus of geese. Geese will continue to be attracted to our juicy grasslands if we do not try and attract them to different places (i.e. with white clover). We plead for solutions that work!
Prior to the debate, I joined the campaign of the action group Don’t gas the geese!
PACMA, the Spanish Party for the Animals, is doing really well. Last week, PACMA achieved double the votes during the regional elections in Spain compared to the last elections. Congratulations PACMA, keep it up!
Fantastic news! France has passed a law that prohibits French supermarkets from throwing away or destroying surplus food. Supermarkets will have to give away unsold food to charities or to find another cause, such as animal food. Read more here and here. I believe that it is a great and social way to stop the waste of food. As far as I am concerned we should also adopt this law in the Netherlands.
Last, I would like to share this story from a cattle rancher in Texas with you. This couple reformed their cattle ranch into a sanctuary for animals rescued from livestock farming. Such an inspiring story!