Worldlog Week 48 – 2008

28 נובמבר 2008

This week was a busy one. I paid a demonstrative working visit to the A28 near Nunspeet, where pigs can still flee unhindered onto the motorway when they are being chased by hunters. So many people turned up despite the terrible weather. We heard speeches from biologist Marcel Vossenstein, Tom Sprangers (Chairman of our youth organisation PINK) and Luuk van der Veer (Our parliamentary chairperson in the Province of Gelderland) and even I made a speech.

I also paid a working visit to Zeeland. Hundreds of fallow deer in nature areas are under threat of the hunt, which is in violation of the Flora and Fauna Act and for dubious reasons. Hunters swear that hundreds more deer live in these nature areas than there truly are. I have spoken with varying staff from the National Forest Management (Staatsbosbeheer – a Dutch State service) who indicate that there is reason to believe the numbers are deliberately doubled.

When I asked Fauna management unit (or in other words, the hunters) if I could peruse the counts they had made, they were forced to admit that “the count records are missing” and the could offer me no explanation!

I cannot believe that the National Forest Management (Staatsbosbeheer), Natural Monuments (Natuurmonumenten), The Zeeland Landscape Foundation (het Zeeuws Landschap) and the Province of Zeeland are willing to allow hunting in natural areas on the basis of such an unsound report. We will do everything we can to prevent this slaughter. Also because representatives from the National Forest Management indicates that the natural area offers more than enough space for an increased population of fallow deer and that the Province recognises that nowhere near enough has been done to prevent dangerous traffic situations from occurring in the area.

In the afternoon I spoke to Karen Soeters from the Nicolaas G. Pierson Foundation and Niko Koffeman (Senator for the Party for the Animals) at a member's day for the Zeeland working party. We were suprised by the enormous turnout and the fantastic way in which the working party organised the programme.

Last Wednesday we tabled a motion of censure for the very first time in our two-year history in Parliment. The censure regarded the Minister for the Environment Cramer and the Minister for Agriculture Verburg's actions. They both failed to inform the House in time about the negative consequences surrounding the expansion of the milk quota – the maximum permitted amount of milk the livestock industry can produce.

Milk production in the Netherlands could be expanded, which is the Minister of Agriculture's and the large players in the dairy industry's ardent desire. But more milk means more ammonia emissions. The Netherlands has the highest ammonia emissions rate in Europe and yet Minister Verburg has been lobbying in Brussels a full year to expand the milk quota within the framework of the Common Agricultural Policy reforms.

Fortunately she was ultimately unsuccessful in her attempts to expand production by 3% per annum. She had to settle for 1% per annum, just as the European Commission has already set out, which will grow to 1.5% in 2009.

I receive a great number of requests from concerned animal protectors to give some attention to the annual dolphin cull around the Faeroer Islands.

The Party for the Animals has set up a protest action against this barbaric hunt. Read more here about the protest (in English) and add your email address to protest letter to the Prime Minister of the Faeroer Islands here asking him to band this cruel annual dolphin hunt.

Sarah Palin is trying to improve her animal unfriendly image. She gave an interview about giving one turkey amnesty while other turkeys were being slaughtered in the background…

See you again next week!