Worldlog Week 40 – 2008

3 אוקטובר 2008

Last week in Holland there was a public channel set up that wants to draw the needs of animals, nature and the environment to the public’s attention. The channel is called Piep, and is led by Karen Soeters, director of the Nicolaas G. Pierson Foundation, the project leader of Meat the Truth.
In one weeks time 1000 people joined, the channel needs 50,000 members to get a license on the 1st of April, 2009 from the Dutch government to broadcast on Dutch radio and TV.
It is very good that the first country in the world who has a Party for the Animals in parliament, could possibly be the first public channel in the world that is specially focused on the rights of animals on radio and TV.
The channel is also a completely independent initiative, with an independent vision. I am very happy about this and last week I immediately became a member.

Every year in Holland more than 75,000 dogs and cats are taken into animal shelters. The number of rodents, rabbits and other animals who end up in animal shelters is unknown. There are almost no structural provisions for these animals. The animal shelters and private shelters who do this work are very often left to fend for themselves.
Lack of funds, lack of space, shortage of employees: this has become the norm in many animal shelters in Holland. Animal shelters for dogs and cats are full every summer and for many types of animals there are hardly any options. The present lost items policy of the city councils where stray animals must be ‘kept’ for fourteen days, has been insufficient for years in dealing with the growing need. The nature of the animal shelter problem goes beyond city limits and requires national attention. The Party for the Animals is therefore working on an initiative to find a better approach.

Elements that will definitely be present in the initiative are a shelter fund where breeders and pet shops must contribute an amount for every animal they sell and suggestions for measures to prevent the impulse purchase of animals. The sector must be held responsible for it’s share in the problem. By placing cuddly little rabbits at children’s eye level, they are willfully promoting impulse purchases, with drastic consequences. From the millions that are earned by the sale of pets, pet shops and garden centers can afford to make a contribution to the fund for the shelter costs of animals.
The Party for the Animals will organize a hearing later this year so that representatives from different animal shelters can directly share their knowledge and experiences with members of Parliament. The plan is expected to be sent to Parliament at the beginning of next year.

The Dierenbal (Animal Gala) was held in Amsterdam on October 2nd to draw attention to the serious situation that animals are in. I wasn’t able to attend because Meat the Truth made it’s Hollywood premiere last week. I have just heard that, besides the Artivist festival, the film has also been selected and/or nominated for 3 other international film festivals. More information to follow.

Until next week!