Esther’s Blog: Showing courage pays off!

5 מרץ 2020

In my previous blog I wrote about the disclosure of animal abuse in Dutch slaughterhouses. Severe animal abuse took place in a slaughterhouse that was supposed to be one of the ‘best’ in the Netherlands. Meanwhile, we have officially pressed charges against the slaughterhouse concerned and the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA), the supervisory authority that should legally protect animals but instead participated in the abuse itself.

Because these types of practices are a structural problem I have submitted a Ten-Point Plan on behalf of the Party for the Animals to stop this type of animal abuse for good. By failing to intervene now, we knowingly and deliberately choose for countless animals to be severely abused and for ‘sick’ meat to end up in the shelves.

While I am writing this blog, millions of weak, ill, stressed pigs, chickens, rabbits and many other animals in cages and concrete sties are suffering immensely. Because our political leaders still do not have the courage to say: "This is unacceptable. These are live creatures with a conscious and feelings and this is not how we should treat each other in a civilised society."

Website containing advertisements for meat, subsidised by the EU.

The European Union (EU) also fails to show courage. The European Commission is showing off with its “Green Deal”, but is subsidising large-scale animal abuse, climate disruption and biodiversity destruction at the same time. The European agricultural policy, which represented over one-third of the EU budget in total during the past period with 59 billion euros a year, is causing the pollution and destruction of nature and environment. Moreover, the EU is spending 200 million euros each year on misleading promotion for animal products that are harmful to us and to our living environment. The Party for the Animals already asked Frans Timmermans, Euro Commissioner responsible for the climate policy, at a previous stage, if he is willing to stop this absurd support for promotion. He refused. Shamelessly.

The absence of courage is also visible when it comes to negotiations on international trade treaties with, for example, Canada (CETA) and United States (TTIP). Such treaties do not only contribute to violating human and animal rights and to the destruction of our planet, but are also causing unfair competition for farmers and entrepreneurs who are sustainable and animal friendly. These treaties are nevertheless supported by our governments. The objections of millions of citizens, NGOs and farmers’ associations are simply ignored.

Politicians are put under pressure by vested interests and multinationals.

The last few weeks, I have been fighting very hard to sweep CETA aside. But unfortunately the Dutch Lower House narrowly voted in favour of this disastrous treaty with Canada. However, we will continue fighting: the Dutch Upper House still has to take its vote and its majority is on our site. The Netherlands has a unique opportunity to turn the tide and to put nature's, people's and animals’ health above financial interests. To be continued!

Esther Ouwehand dressed as a farmer during the protest against CETA.

But, fortunately, the public and many NGOs are showing courage. This led, for example, to the historic judgment of the British Court that Heathrow Airport in London is not permitted to expand as this would affect the climate too severely. These proceedings were instituted by an organisation which is, quite appropriately, called Plan B, like our election programme. The Party for the Animals led the debate in the Netherlands against expanding the aviation industry and it was the only party for a long time that dared to plead for shrinking the aviation industry. The taboo of shrinking the aviation industry has meanwhile ceased to exist in the Netherlands and our call is supported by increasingly more parties. Our planet does not need more planes, but more nature and more healthy air.

Additionally, our party was successful in the debate against fireworks last month and we managed to have the literally and figuratively sickening trade in wild animals put on the World Health Organisation's agenda. Furthermore, our European political group managed to make animal welfare a binding part of Brexit negotiations and we achieved to file a request for a European parliamentary inquiry on horrific animal transports.

Showing courage pays off!

Support our French and British sister parties!

French sister party Parti Animaliste.

Nature, environment and animal welfare are at stake worldwide. We need politicians who have the courage to fight for a positive change everywhere. That is why I am delighted that our British and French sister parties take part in the elections. The French Parti Animaliste will take part in municipality elections in 25 municipalities on the 15th and 22nd of March next. And the British Animal Welfare Party will also take part in local elections on the 7th of May next. They have to pay a fee of 5,000 GBP to participate. If you have any money spare, please donate by clicking here. We wish our sister parties great success!

Until the next time,


(Parliamentary leader Party for the Animals)