Worldlog Week 48 – 2010

3 דצמבר 2010

The Party for the Animals held a party congress on Sunday, November 28th. It was a positive and inspiring congress during which I passed the chairperson's hammer over to Luuk Folkerts. Luuk is suited to the task of making the association even larger than it has become over the last eight years. We began in 2002 with four people, in the mean time that has become 12.500 and our ambition is to become the largest political association in The Netherlands. In September I announced that I wished to pass on the chairperson’s position, because I felt that one of the fastest growing political associations in The Netherlands deserved the undivided attention of the association chairperson. The political leadership and the position of party whip in the Lower House now require my undivided attention. The association can now count on the undivided attention of Luuk Folkerts.

Luuk Folkerts (1963) is a physicist and works in the area of sustainable energy and climate policy. He was previously on the candidate list for the Provincial States of Utrecht and the Upper and Lower Houses. Luuk has stated that it is his ambition to make the Party for the Animals even bigger. During the congress he said: "You hear from the party chairperson only when it’s not going well with a party. My biggest ambition is that you will hear very little from me."

Yesterday we also said farewell to an original member of our governing board and party-ideologist Ton Dekker. He will stay affiliated with the party and we owe him a debt of gratitude. We will be continuing to make use of his advice. After eight years of intensive co-operation he is succeeded by Frank Wassenberg, member of the Provincial States in Limburg. We are very much looking forward to working together with Frank who has rightfully earned his place in the animal protection world.

I have asked parliamentary questions about the report that a pork processing company in the Dutch city of Nederweert is keeping pig carcasses stored on the premises for years and that the controlling organization, the Food and Consumption Authority has just now found out about it. I have also asked questions about the killing and destruction of thousands of young chickens who were found to contain unacceptably high levels of antibiotics. However there is still a lot of work to do. The state secretary of Agriculture has advised against all our submitted legislative proposals of last week. We shall see which parties have the backbone to keep their promise to abolish factory farming in the long term.

By invitation of the state secretary for the Environment I will attend theclimate summit on Tuesday, December 7th in Cancun. Because this climate summit is of the utmost importance and the opportunity is present to check the government’s commitment, we are happy to be able to give our input. We have heard that the documentary Meat the Truth, from our scientific office, the Nicolaas G. Pierson Foundation, will be shown several times during the conference, even without our scientific office or our party taking any initiative. We are very proud of that! After three years our ideas are more current than ever and inspire people around the entire world to think seriously of the role of cattle breeding in the climate issue.

On November 30th it was exactly four years ago that Esther Ouwehand and I were sworn into parliament. Still a world premier!

See you next week,