Worldlog week 38 – 2015

14 September 2015

The growing refugee problems dominated the discussion in the Lower House last week. Compassion and sustainability cannot be more closely related than in the solution to the refugee problem. Conflicts in the refugees’ countries of origin are increasingly caused by food shortages resulting from climate and water issues. NATO anticipates “water wars”.
Researchers of Columbia University have called the Syrian civil war a “climate war”. Not the people fleeing from their homes are fortune-seekers, but the people drilling for oil far from home, getting green beans from poor countries that suffer from droughts, and felling rainforests to grow animal feed.

Vluchtelingen - shutterstock- Lucian Coman

The people ensuring we consume as if we have four earths at our disposal, those are the fortune-seekers. To arrive at a solution, it is incredibly important for more people to dare face the underlying causes of the refugee problem. Fortunately, Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission, and John Kerry, the American Minister of Foreign Affairs, now subscribe to this understanding. This comic illustrates the problems short and clear.

It is barely two months ago that American dentist Walter Palmer shot the beloved lion Cecil during a hunting trip in Zimbabwe. The incident caused a lot of uproar (and rightly so!). This type of hunting trip abroad is no exception, unfortunately. News emerged this week that around twenty Dutch and Belgians have gone on a “unique hunting trip” in South Africa to shoot antelopes, warthogs, baboons and other wildlife. During this battue, the animals are driven towards the hunters for easy hits. Unfortunately, this type of battue is legal in South Africa. Hunters often defend themselves with social objectives as a legitimisation of hunting. However, this shooting represents what hunters are essentially after. Their passion is to obtain and kill animals. Whether it be in the Netherlands or in South Africa.


In the Lower House, I have fought for some time against these so-called trophy tours, enabling Dutch hunters to hunt undisturbed for often endangered species abroad. My motion for an import ban on hunting trophies was adopted recently. A step in the right direction, because hunting trophies will no longer be allowed to enter the Netherlands!

Good news! A large majority of the European Parliament supports the call of our European group to ban cloned meat. The vast majority of cloned animals are stillborn and only a very small percentage lives to be one year old, often suffering from many diseases and abnormalities. Cloning – something that happens frequently in the US – causes a lot of animal suffering. Besides, it turns out that 77% of European citizens are not in favour of cloned meat. Citizens do not want it, farmers do not need it and animals are paying the price. Let’s go for a total ban on products from cloned animals!


See you all next week!