Worldlog week 38 – 2014

15 september 2014

Yes! Last Thursday an overwhelming majority of the House voted in favour of our motions for the Netherlands to take a more powerful and independent position when it comes to the protection of whales and dolphins! I already told you about this in my previous Worldlog. The Netherlands is also going to call in question the whaling by indigenous people while the European Union has just agreed with an increase of the whaling quota for Greenland.

Until now, the Netherlands has often readily accepted the mutual position of the EU, which still doesn’t seem willing to veto the illegal whaling by Japan and the dolphin slaughters on the Faroe Islands and Taiji, at the meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC).

New Zealand will today (Monday the 15th of September) at the ICW meeting propose to not grant permits for scientific whaling. This resolution is important because Japan, which was previously condemned by the International Court of Justice, is planning to start whaling again. The Netherlands is going to support New Zealand with its proposal! Monaco is going to bring forward a proposal for not only protecting large whales but also small ones, such as dolphins. The Dutch government will fortunately also support Monaco. 🙂
My colleague Esther Ouwehand asked parliamentary questions about the University of Maatricht’s plans to do testing on 39 labradors. We want to ban all animal testing and are thus asking the State Secretary to take more account of the growing resistance against experiments on living animals. The cabinet claims to commit itself to the reduction of animal testing, but the number of tests on dogs has actually increased over the years.

An animal experiment committee, which has to conduct an ethical research before an animal test is carried out, determined that the intended experiments on labradors were permissible. The mass protest shows that society sees this differently. To be continued!
Last week, during the debate on animal welfare, I called for State Secretary Dijksma to make ‘actions speak louder than words’ when it comes to animal welfare. With the animal-friendly majority in the Lower House, the State Secretary has ample opportunity to improve the welfare of millions of animals. The State Secretary is risking that she, like her predecessor, will postpone real improvements for animals and eventually abandon the improvements completely, using greenwashing as an alibi. And as a matter of fact she has approved of welfare initiatives of industrial livestock producers and the pedigree dog industry.

Many breeds of dogs suffer serious health problems because they are selected for their external characteristics. The English bulldog was purposely bred with a flat snout and has breathing difficulties as a result. No new DNA databank is going to stop that. Pedigree dog breeders have called it ‘fair breeding’ and the State Secretary has embraced this initiative. It’s selling well. A textbook example of greenwashing in the field of animal welfare. Experts and animal protectors aren’t happy with it at all. Unethical breeding based on external characteristics should be stopped by law.

News from Brussels! Our member of the European Parliament Anja Hazekamp came into action to stop one of the bloodiest types of public entertainment in Europe: Toro de la Vega.

Toro de la Vega is an annual Spanish event in Tordesillas where hundreds of men on horse chase a bull and stab it with spears until the animal succumbs to its injuries. It’s horrifc ‘public entertainment’. Three parties for the animals have thus stood up to Toro de la Vega in Brussels. Together they presented a petition of over 65,000 signatures from Spain to the European Commission.
Anja Hazekamp together with member of the European Parliament Stefan Eck of the German Party for the Animals asked parliamentary questions to the European Commission. Great action!

Here’s a nice quotation from Stella McCartney: A weekly ‘Meat Free day’ is a simple but significant action everyone can take to cut global emissions. Also view her promotion video to get more people to eat less meat.

Greetings! Marianne