Esther’s Blog: The fight for emancipation continues
Early October, our founder Marianne Thieme said goodbye to the Dutch Lower House, after 13 years’ of service. She will continue to work for our ideals outside the Lower House. For now, I will take over her duties as party chair. This means that I will also write the monthly international blogs from now on. I am looking forward to keeping in touch via these blogs with the growing group of people, who dedicate themselves to nature, animals and the environment.
October was a turbulent month. It became evident again that the agricultural policy in the Netherlands is one big drama. Partly because of our insufferable large livestock industry, the Netherlands has a nitrogen surplus, which has a bad effect on human health, animals and nature. The government tried to solve the issue with a legal trick, but the highest general administrative court recently swept it away. The Netherlands is in commotion now, because our country now also has to adhere to the European nature protection regulations after years of maladministration.
The government has already known for twenty years that the number of animals in the livestock industry must shrink by 50%, but did not have the courage to act vigorously. Farmers, animals and nature have been waiting for a long time for a minister who has the courage to free the agricultural sector from this no-through road of pesticides and scale-growth in which everybody is caught. That is the reason why the Party for the Animals has put forward again that the livestock industry must be reduced and that we need to help farmers to change to a healthy, regional, animal-friendly agriculture that is future proof.
We have urged the European Commission to investigate whether weaker nitrogen standards in countries such as Belgium, Germany, France and Denmark have a harmful effect on nature. If it turns out that those countries are also violating European standards on nature protection, they should be called to account too.
Furthermore, we have proposes a broad range of measures to tackle the nitrogen issue. The aviation industry must shrink, the import of cattle feed from South America must be banned, subsidies for combusting trees in biomass centres must end, and we should reduce the speed limit.
Slow and steady will win in the end. That is what we demonstrated over the past month when we prevented that the bee guideline would be weakened, the plan for the protection of bees. The European Union should not serve the pesticides lobby's interest, but those of the bees and other insects. Furthermore the harmful pesticide thiacloprid will finally be banned!
After the Party for the Animals’ unremitted fight, the European loan of 100 million euros (!) to Ukrainian’s leading poultry producer MHP was definitely called off. No new animal factories in the Ukraine and Slovenia as a result! It will cause less distress, not only for millions of chickens, but also for the people living around such mega stables.
In the same month, our Canadian sister party (Animal Protection Party of Canada) made the feathers fly when they participated in federal elections. All candidates were vegan and they were able to bring the story about what we do to animals and our living environment into the limelight quite well.
Together we take a leading role in a new fight for emancipation that will win in the end. In this way, we will together with our Canadian sister party offer resistance against destructive trade treaties such as CETA, a treaty that endangers nature, animal welfare and the environment. A hearing that was initiated by us will take place next Wednesday.. Meanwhile, almost the majority of the MPs have joined us in the resistance against CETA. The elections will be exciting!
Until the next time.