Worldlog Week 02 – 2011
Although the new year is a couple of weeks old now, I would still like to wish you all a Happy New Year. Again in 2011, the Party for the Animals will be battling against the current of short-term thinking and challenge people to change the their mentality. The first half of this year brings us the Provincial Council elections on 2 March and the Upper House elections on 23 May. We will in any case be fielding candidates in eight provinces during the Provincial Council elections. We are currently represented in eight provinces and have scored successes with a ban on mega-stables, increased sustainability of agriculture and the limiting of the culling of muskrats. Together with the ten electoral party leaders, we will be fighting over the next few months to win a victory for animals, nature and the environment.
Furthermore, Niko Koffeman is will again be running in the Senate race to represent our party for another four years. Niko has been involved with the Party for the Animals from its inception and he has shaped the role of our party in the Senate in an exceptional manner. Through his efforts, issues such as animal welfare, sustainability, the climate crisis and meat consumption have been discussed both within the Upper House and beyond. For example, Niko obtained support for proposals to start increasing vegetable-based protein production, to implement a sustainability test for all tax measures and to honour the agreement made regarding the National Ecological Network.
The dioxin scandal in Germany, where high concentrations of dioxins were discovered in cattle feed, has also sent alarm bells ringing in the Netherlands. Last week I requested that the Lower House provide clarification regarding dioxin-infected eggs from Germany that also entered the Dutch market. Furthermore, we had an important debate on battling Q fever. The Dutch government refused to release the addresses of contaminated farms even when it became apparent that 4,000 people had fallen ill and 15 had died. The owners of sheep and goats that had died were all compensated for their losses while those that fell chronically ill or lost loved ones were completely left out in the cold, as is always the case where zoonoses threaten public health. I have accused the government of “criminally negligent homicide”, which was described by the minister as “indecent” and “disproportionate”. As far as I am concerned, qualifications like those are ideally suited to the government.
Some cool news: Brian May, guitarist of the legendary rock group Queen, has appealed to people in Great Britain not to vote for the Conservatives owing to concerns about animal welfare. We seems to understand our party completely. In an interview with the BBC he talks about his action group “Save me” that he set up to protect foxes in Great Britain against the cruel fox hunt. I wish Brian May much success in his fight for animal rights in Great Britain!
In the week 24 through to 30 January, it is ‘The world week for the Abolition of Meat’. This highly commendable initiative has been a huge success in recent years. Next week will see activities take place all over the world to show people that consuming meat from the intensive cattle-raising industry has consequences for animal welfare, the climate and the environment. The organization calls on everyone to participate and to show the world that meat consumption must be drastically reduced. This is an appeal to which I give my wholehearted support!
Until next week!