Worldlog week 28 – 2015
Last Wednesday, the Lower House voted on the new Nature Act and all amendments and motions submitted in its regard. We unfortunately failed to obtain a majority for it, despite the election promises of the party in government, the Labour Party (PvdA), and others. Traditional thinking has indeed resulted in good promises, but is has not yet resulted in the guts to make them come true. To be continued!
Our film One Single Planet was shown on large screens in the central hall of the European Parliament in Brussels last week. One Single Planet conveys another message than conventional politicians in the European Parliament are used to: namely, that a different approach to our planet is imperative. “If all people lived as an average European, we would need to have four globes. But we have to make do with one single planet, and the planet with us,” said Party for the Animals (PvdD) MEP Anja Hazekamp in her speech at the opening of the exhibition.
Naturally, Karen Soeters, the director of our party’s scientific bureau, also attended the opening and focused in her speech on the consequences of our present lifestyle: “The current impact human beings have on the earth is described by scientists as ‘dangerous’. Increasing refugee flows and armed conflicts are predicted as consequences of the climate change currently caused by mankind.” It is great that One Single Planet was shown in the European Parliament. I am very proud!
I have frequently spoken in my weblogs about our wish for an import ban on hunting trophies, such as ivory, tiger skins and rhino horn. This legal import under the denominator of ‘personal property’ is abused by criminals. The motion for an import ban we submitted together with the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) has received the support from a parliamentary majority! The government must now make a plan of action to combat the import of hunting trophies, at both national and European level. And that is sorely necessary, because wildlife crime is a serious threat to biodiversity. Each year, up to 30,000 elephants are poached. In South Africa, 1,215 rhinos were poached over the past year and in West Africa there are only 400 wild lions left.
There is a proper heat wave going on in the Netherlands. Therefore, we need to have an exit ban on animal transport on days that are too hot. Animals sometimes stand waiting for hours in cattle cars before a border crossing or on a slaughter house car park, without any water. Transport during high temperatures often leads to overheated animals, crammed together and panting with thirst. Even at 25 degrees Celsius, animals have trouble breathing or suffer from exhaustion. These images show how seriously animals suffer from high temperatures. I find this unacceptable and I want to see a ban on livestock transport on days when temperatures exceed 25 degrees Celsius. My adopted motion for stricter rules on animal transport is still not carried out by the State Secretary. Checks only are not enough on these kinds of high-risk days, so I urge the State Secretary to finally carry out our motion!
The summer break has begun. There will be no Worldlog in the summer, so I will see you again in September!