Worldlog Week 47 – 2011

25 November 2011

As I said in last week's Worldlog, PACMA, Spain's Party for the Animals participated in elections last Sunday. PACMA received more than 101,000 votes! That's 60,000 more than the previous elections in 2008. Unfortunately it was not enough for a seat, but it absolutely offers hope for the future.

Bad news from Romania. The Romanian parliament has voted for a legislative change so stray dogs can be culled in a gruesome way. We find it hard to believe that a European Union Member State has voted in a plan to kill three million stray dogs. In June of this year, the Romanian abandoned this misbegotten plan thanks to international protest. However, the Romanian parliament still supports solving this perceived stray dog issue through legislative change that enables them to randomly capture stray dogs, poison them, beat them to death, or leave them to starve in animal shelters.

My colleague Esther Ouwehand asked parliamentary questions on this issue in April. During question time, Esther urged the Dutch government to strongly disapprove of this plan and to set this issue up for discussion with the Romanian Ministry of Agriculture. Unfortunately, State Secretary Bleker of Agriculture was not prepared to discuss this inhumane policy with his Romanian colleague. I hope pressure from several countries can still convince the President of Romania to not sign the amendment!

This week, the Amsterdam District Court ruled that Morgan the orca can be moved to the Loro Parque amusement park. We find it incredibly sad that Morgan will have to spend the rest of her life doing tricks in an amusement park. We have worked hard to return Morgan to nature ever since the Dolfinarium plucked this weakened orca out of the Waddenzee, and have worked consistently for Morgan's well-being through asking parliamentary questions and through tabling various motions. Despite this fact, State Secretary Bleker still issued a permit for the Dolfinarium to transfer her to the amusement park in Tenerife.

A group of animal protectionists who united under the Orca Coalition therefore appeared before the court in a final attempt to make sure Morgan doesn't waste her life away in some amusement park. All in vain, so it would seem.

Fifteen percent of all mammals and thirteen percent of all birds are facing the treat of extinction in Europe! These are the results of a study by the IUCN (International Union For the Conservation of Nature). The IUCN indicates that the chief reason is loss of habitat, and this comes down once again to human agency.

Each year, the IUCN publishes the European Red List of endangered plant and animal species. The animals on the red list are species that are almost extinct or their continued existence is severely threatened. The chief reasons for this acceleration in the extinction crisis are loss of habitat, hunting, roads, overfishing and destructive fishing methods, climate change and pollution.

We have so much to lose in this world, so perhaps we should be careful with it from now on and think a little less of the money?

See you next week!