Worldlog Marianne Thieme 29 August

29 אוגוסט 2017

Summer recess will end next week but this summer was so turbulent that I already want to tell you something about it now in this Worldlog.

We, amongst others, made it happen that the Lower House came back from recess last week. The reason: the poison egg scandal that came out this summer. Many Dutch eggs appeared to be infected with the poison Fipronil and since then many eggs were withdrawn from the market and at least one and a half million chickens were killed unnecessarily. Fipronil was illegally distributed and used to clean chicken sheds; that is how the eggs were infected with the poison. The Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (Nederlandse Voedsel- en Warenautoriteit (NVWA)), which monitors animal welfare and food safety, completely failed, partly because it knew about the use of Fipronil last year already and never took action. The fact that they failed to monitor successfully is to blame on the political parties that have slashed the NVWA and left the supervision to the sector itself. This all shows that we should stop thinking that the factory farming industry can regulate itself.

Chicken shed

To make matters even worse, there were several shed fires in the Netherlands. Before summer recess started, the political parties D66, VVD, CU and SGP voted against our motion for stricter fire regulations. Since then, hundreds of thousands of animals died because they suffocated or were burnt. On the insistence of the Party for the Animals some measures have already been taken. The ‘Action Plan Shed Fires 2012-2016’ obliges farmers to divide sheds into compartments when they build new ones or renovate them and to use fire safe materials. There must also be a water supply for fire-fighting. But that is not enough. These regulations should also apply for existing sheds. In addition, there should be an obligation to have a fire alarm, a sprinkler or water fog system, and an open air run so that the animals can go outside in case of a fire. To be continued!

Havoc following a shed fire (photo door Jack Tummers )

A delegation of the Party for the Animals travelled for a week through Morocco this summer, looking for possible cooperation with Moroccan organisations that stand up for animals, nature and the environment. They returned with a good conclusion: there are many opportunities in the field of sustainability and animal welfare. They just have to be seized. Read here more about the trip.

Our senator Christine Teunissen was received enthusiastically by Moroccan shelter cats

Unfortunately, we have seen much terror this summer. There was a violent right-wing demonstration in the US city of Charlottesville. Terrorist acts were also committed in Iraq, Spain and Finland. The battle against violence and intolerance against all inhabitants on our planet is a task for all of us. One of the persons who understood that well was Dick Gregory, comedian and activist, who unfortunately passed away last week. Gregory joined Martin Luther King Jr. in the 60s in the fight for civil rights and fought for animas rights for years too. In his own words: Because I am a civil rights activist, I am an animal rights activist.He used humour to expose abuse. He was a great example for all!

Dick Gregory

Luckily, the summer also brought us nice things. For example, our party participated in the Canal Parade in Amsterdam. With the slogans ‘Pride in diversity’ and ‘Pride in (your) nature’ the Party for the Animals lived its message: ‘Be proud of our (bio)diversity and of your diversity; be proud of our nature and of who you naturally are’. During the Canal Parade, more acceptance and equality of LHBT+ groups, wherever in the world, was called for in a positive way. Proud of our members who joined the parade! See here the aftermovie.

Hugging on the boat during the Canal Parade

Last of all, the Dutch women became European Champions in football. A true milestone for the emancipation of women’s football.

Until the next time!

Marianne Thieme