Worldlog week 49 – 2014
Our party congress was held last Sunday. It was a great day! The congress focused on the Provincial Council and Water Board Elections. In March 2015, we will participate in elections in 10 provinces and 8 water boards. The party programmes and lists of candidates were presented and approved at the party congress. I am confident it will be a beautiful and successful campaign again and that our number of representatives will increase significantly!
103,000,000 chickens in a really tiny country. That is asking for problems, and problems are what we now have. Due to bird flu, 220,000 chickens and ducks have been gassed over the past two weeks. It is irresponsible to continue the bio-industry, where one after the other disease outbreaks occurs. 11 years ago, one third of all Dutch chickens were gassed, 30 million, and we have learned nothing. I therefore raised this matter again in the Lower House during weekly Oral question time. Unlike animals in the wild, which are constantly exposed to all kinds of viruses, animals that are stacked together in stables are very susceptible to viruses. An animal disease can spread easily due to the large numbers of animals and regular contacts between farms.
I wanted to know from the State Secretary what the Cabinet has done since 2003, when the previous major outbreak of bird flu occurred in the Netherlands, to address the bio-industry. Unfortunately, our request to use video recordings when gassing chickens received a negative response.
Not only bird flu poses a threat to public health. By now, even more than 75% of all meat consumed is contaminated with antibiotics-resistant bacteria, as was shown by research at Beuc. This means that antibiotics are less effective when you are ill. This emphasises the need again to put an end to the bio-industry.
The Lower House, however, allows expansion of dairy farming unimpeded. Our amendment that sought to halt expansion of dairy farming was rejected, unfortunately. An increase in dairy farming automatically means an increase in animal welfare problems and environmental problems which already exist, because this too is hardly addressed: an amendment for mandatory grazing was also rejected.
This week, I attended a presentation on Ex’tax at the Social and Economic Council. The idea behind Ex’tax is that taxes shift from labour to resources. As unemployment is currently really high, it is very unattractive for employers to hire someone due to the high taxes. The prices of scarce and environmentally harmful commodities, however, are kept low. As we are now faced with a major challenge with regard to climate problems and unemployment is high, this is the time to adjust the taxation system accordingly.
Interesting article about feeding the world. We have to go back to small scale and regionalisation to be able to continue feeding the growing world population.