Worldlog week 43 – 2014
Last week’s theme was cruelty to animals. In the Lower House, they have finally come to realise that cruelty to animals must be taken seriously. Cruelty to animals also occurs frequently in cases of domestic violence towards women (sometimes men) and children.
I have advocated, among other things, that aid workers in domestic violence cases should be obligated to look for signs of cruelty to animals, as well. At the request of our party, the State Secretary is going to investigate whether a mandatory reporting code can be created for domestic violence and cruelty to animals. Reports of domestic violence and cruelty to animals are currently treated separately.
In the debate, I stressed in the second place that it should be possible to impose a lifelong animal-keeping ban on abusers and people who neglect their animals. In the Netherlands, an animal-keeping ban of at most ten years can be given only if an animal abuser gets a suspended sentence. The animal-keeping ban is therefore merely a condition and not a punishment or measure in itself. The Minister promised me to look into this before the summer. In England, it is already possible to impose a lifelong animal-keeping ban on people who have abused animals repeatedly. We also want this in the Netherlands!
The Netherlands must show more ambition for European climate and energy targets. Prime Minister Rutte intended to further weaken the European targets which already were far too meagre. He was hauled back into line by the House following a motion from us.
The Netherlands can no longer oppose the proposal to realise energy savings of 30 per cent by 2030. The field of sustainable energy should also be taken up a notch: in 2030, 27 per cent of generated energy must be green.
The proposals of the European Commission were already fiercely criticised by scientists as they are far from sufficient to keep climate change within limits. Even companies want more ambition from the EU. Dutch government found even these meagre targets too high and advocated over the past weeks to adjust the climate targets further downwards.
Anja Hazekamp, our Euro MP, posed questions about the import of battery cage eggs from Ukraine. Avangardco, a Ukrainian egg giant, recently received a permit to export its battery cage eggs to Europe. Unbelievable. Battery cage eggs are prohibited in the European Union. We find it unacceptable that animal welfare has been neglected when admitting these eggs from Ukraine. Although it is certainly possible to have an EU import ban on these battery cage eggs, the political will is lacking. What’s more, the EU is betting on free trade agreements!