Worldlog Week 04 – 2012

23 ianuarie 2012

Next Sunday the Party for the Animals is organizing a benefit screening of the film The Cove in Amsterdam in support of Erwin Vermeulen. Erwin is a Dutch Sea Shepherd volunteer who was arrested in Japan on 16 December 2011 when he was photographing a dolphin being transported. He is accused of having pushed a dolphin hunter, an accusation he denies vigorously. The proceeds from the benefit screening will be used to help pay Erwin’s legal costs.

Erwin Vermeulen Foto: Sea Shepherd

Erwin was in Japan to report on the horrifyingly cruel dolphin hunt that takes place each year in the Japanese coastal town of Taiji and which is closely linked with the trade in dolphins for dolphinariums all over the world. Each year Japan issues 23,000 licences to coastal towns for the hunt of wild dolphins. The best specimens are bought for large sums by dolphin trainers from all over the world. The rest are massacred in a gruesome manner. The Cove tells the story of the fight of animal protectionists against this annual dolphin hunt. The New York Times published an enthusiastic review of the film, which you can read here.

The Party for the Animals has repeatedly submitted parliamentary questions on Erwin Vermeulen’s apprehension in Japan. My fellow Party for the Animals member of parliament Esther Ouwehand stated that Vermeulen’s arrest seems to be part of a political strategy used by Japan to frustrate civilian protests against this slaughter of dolphins.

Those who are unable to attend the benefit screening but would like to support Erwin Vermeulen can make a donation to bank account number in the name of the Party for the Animals and stating ‘Sea Shepherd Action’. If you are donating from outside the Netherlands: IBAN: NL85 TRIO 0784 9454 97 / BIC: TRIONL2U.

Last week we submitted a motion in the Lower House for the adoption of the doggy bag in the Netherlands. We would like state secretary Bleker to engage the restaurant and catering industry in a dialogue about using the doggy bag in this country. In the Netherlands, food left over In restaurants is thrown away nine out of ten times, while in other countries it is very normal for customers to take home with them what they don’t eat in a so-called doggy bag.

In the Netherlands it is rather taboo to ask for a doggy bag and so people don’t dare. Both restaurants and their customers would have a lot to gain if restaurants actively encouraged their guests to take home their leftovers at the end of the meal!

Starting this week I will be on maternity leave. I expect to be back in the House in May when we will continue the debate in the Senate on the legislative bill to ban the slaughter of animals without stunning. My replacement, Anja Hazekamp, will be sworn in in the Lower House tomorrow. Anja is a member of the Groningen provincial council, a position she has temporarily delegated to someone else. I am extremely happy that Anja has come to boost our team in the Lower House.

In the months ahead I will however continue writing my Worldlog and follow the work of the party in the Lower House. So until next week!