Worldlog Week 25 – 2008

20 יוני 2008

This week Parliament adopted a motion from the Party for the Animals requiring the Minister of Agriculture to provide measurable goals in regards to animal welfare within two months. The Court of Audit (Algemene Rekenkamer), an independent institution of the Dutch government, had previously reprimanded the minister on two different occasions because there were no measurable goals regarding the animal welfare and sustainability policy.

There was much commotion this week concerning the Dutch island Texel where the government granted permission to capture protected wild geese and gas them. Purely because the largest “nature protection organisation” of the Netherlands, Nature Monuments (Natuurmonumenten), believes that the geese create too much competition for the black-tailed godwit and other grass-land birds.

That is the big difference between animal protectors and nature protectors. Nature protectors do nothing about the welfare of animals as long as the population is large enough. They are even prepared to “thin out” a population that in their opinion is too large.

Employees of the Fauna Protection (Faunabescherming) were on site and gave eyewitness reports. To get an idea, we’ve included one here:

Texel, Murder Island

Last Friday and Saturday, I was witness to the extermination procedures of Duke Faunabeheer and the hunting family Den Hartog. Their extermination of grey geese took place at the request of Nature Monuments, State Forest Management (Staatsbosbeheer) and the province of North Holland. Without a single valid reason, they blindly follow the orders of LTO Nederland (federation for agricultural businesses, ed.).

I see it happening in the distance. I’m not allowed to enter the area which has a protected status because it is owned by Nature Monuments; and meanwhile autos and farmers’ tractors wander right on through. I feel so intensely hopeless and despondent to see how people treat living animals like garbage.

Simply barbaric how the panic stricken animals are chased around, thrown into a livestock truck, grabbed by their legs and kicked in and thrown on top of each other. Indescribably horrific.

Crying and powerless, I watch how the geese, parents and young ones, honking loudly, calling out to family members, get hauled away in the livestock truck to the Vernichtungslager (extermination camp), a dubious, disorderly area with large sheds which belongs to a board member of Texels Belang (a local political party, ed.).

There the geese die a horrible, painful and slow death by suffocation. Meanwhile, the people from State Forest Management (take note: the maintainer of the province North Holland) and Nature Monuments stand by chatting cheerfully with one another, laughing and smoking a cigarette as if it were a pleasant picnic….

How could a country that dares call itself civilised, with a government that is so outspoken about norms and values, allow such a thing?

Nature Monuments has sold its soul to the CDA (Christian democrat party) with a farmer and hunter as leader, a director who tries to justify his insane policies concerning the grey geese with lies. I hope that the paying members of Nature Monuments will cancel their memberships en masse.

I can still hear the desperate honking sounds, and the images of the innocent animals sentenced to death are engraved in my memory forever. I will never forget it. I am devastated.

Ineke van den Abeele

On the 18th of June, the youth organisation of the Party for the Animals, PINK!, protested at the Austrian embassy in the Netherlands for the release of Martin Balluch, the president of the Association Against Animal Factories (Verein Gegen Tierfabriken – VGT) in Austria. Martin Balluch and several other members of VGT were arrested by the Austrian police and taken into custody without charge. PINK! wants the animal protectors of VGT released immediately. I also personally went to show my support for the protest of PINK!.

Until next week.