Worldlog Week 05 – 2013
This week saw the debate on the agriculture budget in the Lower House, always a key moment for our party to draw attention to animal welfare issues and the problems affecting nature and the environment. Our expectations were high during this year’s debate since we again have – after a long time – a state secretary for agriculture from the Dutch Labour Party (the social democrats of the Netherlands). In principle all lights are green for animal and nature-friendlier measures following years of an abominable and destructive policy spearheaded by the former state secretary for agriculture Bleker of the Christian democrats. And we saw the first fruits of this change of guard last Thursday in the form of a ban on extremely poisonous pesticides. Our motion for a European moratorium on neonicotinoids and fipronil (pesticides that cause death in bees) has been adopted. State secretary Dijksma must now work to secure a European-wide ban on theses hazardous substances. This is a breakthrough we have worked long and hard for!
Below is a short extract from my contribution:
It is obvious that the discussion on animal welfare and the rights of animals is subject to a lot of prejudices. It is sometimes emphatically asserted that the Party for the Animals intends to oblige everyone to become a vegetarian, which will signal the end of personal freedom as from then on all we will be allowed to eat is salad. And that the Party for the Animals therefore does not care about people, or it fact even places animals above people. It is maintained that we humanify animals and would love nothing more than to knit miniature sweaters for every pidgin.
But humanification of animals is the very last thing we want. Animals must be able to live in accordance with their own natures. Therefore, no waterbeds for cows in the cowsheds – which actually exist, believe it or not – but cows in the pastures. No footballs or plasticized bike chains as toys in pigs sties, but mud pools that are essential to the wellbeing of pigs and help them control parasites naturally. No roller-skating wild animals in circuses, but large nature reserves where they can roam free. We want fewer experiments on animals because animals are indeed much different to people. Instead we want more work on alternative, more reliable research models without animals. The humanification of animals is a bad thing, in any event for the animals.
Good news for wild animals in circuses. State secretary Dijksma is already working on a ban on wild animals in circuses. She hopes to submit the bill this summer. Great news!
In his inauguration speech, Barack Obama has called for action against climate change in the interest of future generations. Easy! See www.meatthetruth.nl.
Animal welfare organization Eyes on Animals recently released more images of European animal transports on their way to Turkey. The journey that hundreds of thousands of cows, sheep and pigs are forced to make each year to the abattoir is appalling. And this method of transport and slaughter is still promoted by the EU. We must drastically reduce the length of animal transports to no more than two hours in order to stop this cruel and degrading treatment.
In the US, a cat found its way back home after walking 320 kilometres. This cat apparently knows more than the scientists who are currently breaking their brains to figure out how he did it 😉
Till next week, Marianne