Worldlog Week 25 – 2011

24 juni 2011

It turned out to be a late night at the final debate on Wednesday evening (and night). It was to discuss our legislative proposal to ban slaughter without stunning. I'm tired now, but satisfied, as there will be an end to slaughter without stunning in the Netherlands! We all worked hard for three years on this legislative proposal and we now have 80% of the Lower House's support!

Thank you everyone for all your support and for the congratulatory messages from overseas! We worked together to reach a significant milestone for animal welfare in the Netherlands. Now it's on to the next project – like mega stalls in the Netherlands, for instance.

Our legislative proposal has brought about a lot of change in society, but one thing's for sure: Dutch politics can no longer ignore animal welfare after Wednesday evening's final debate. The Lower house will vote on our legislative proposal on Tuesday 28 June.

Four political parties, The Dutch Labour Party (PvdA), The People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) GroenLinks and D66 lodged an amendment during the debate. The Party for the Animals believes that freedom of religion must ends where animal suffering begins. The amendment makes it possible to apply for an exemption to obligatory slaughter without stunning beforehand, if it can be incontrovertibly proved that the alternative method of slaughter causes no more suffering than slaughter without stunning. The four parties' amendment therefore offers religious communities the space to make use of new developments and innovations based on progressive scientific insight. If religious communities find a method of slaughter that scientific research says guarantees the same level of animal welfare as pre-stupefaction, they may be eligible for an exemption to said stupefaction. This exemption will be granted for a maximum period of five years. The Party for the Animals does not believe that they will find any proof to allow slaughter without stunning, whereby the animals' suffering would be less than with anaesthetised slaughter. Scientists all around the world agree that animals suffer severely when slaughter without stunning. I simply believe that no one will ever be able to make use this exception.

Some wonderful news from England: The majority of English parliament has voted for a motion banning the use of wild animals in circuses. Unfortunately we in the Netherlands haven't come that far. A number of municipalities have resisted circuses with wild animals by no longer inviting them to perform. But the Netherlands these days in the only European country wherethere are no rules to govern the welfare of circus animals … it's truly unbelievable. Something needs to be done about it!

See you next week!