Esther's blog: Multiple successes and soli­darity with animal protec­ti­o­nists in Morocco and Greece

18 Mayıs 2023

Result! This was a month of big breakthroughs for the animals! The Dutch parliament supports three very important legislative changes by the Party for the Animals: much harsher penalties for animal torturers, a lifetime pet ban for the worst offenders and a ban on pets being killed by their owners. The Party for the Animals has been fighting for this for years.

There are also positive developments regarding animal testing. Thanks to the work of our team, various parties in the House of Representatives are working to reduce the amount of animal experiments. Not only to help animals, but also to make research better for human health. Most animal tests do not help at all, and there are increasingly better alternatives. If we invest in more effective alternatives instead of animal testing, suffering in beagles, mice and monkeys, among others, can be avoided.

And that was not the only good news from the Dutch parliament. Our team has ensured that the Dutch House of Representatives is now completely free of disposable cups. The Kamergebouw will only have reusable cups, which saves 50,000 disposable ones each month!

There was also good news internationally: New Zealand has put an end to the export of live animals by sea. A step that was also taken in Brazil. Animals suffer unnecessarily during long transports and the Party for the Animals with its sister parties is committed to relieve billions of animals worldwide of this suffering. Also, our party in the European Parliament has supported the anti-deforestation law, which combats global deforestation by making it much more difficult to import products that contribute to deforestation, such as beef and soya. A good step, but hardly any restrictions have been imposed on products such as pork and chicken meat, which also destroy forests. Furthermore, our team in the EU will work to tackle deforestation financiers, such as insurers and banks, and end trade agreements that destroy forests. Forests are of the essence!

Support the action of Moroccan animal welfare organisations!

A picture that Moroccan animal welfare organizations put out on social media to stop the killing of stray dogs, with the caption "Stop killing dogs in Morocco"

It’s great to see how many Moroccan animal welfare organizations united last week to stop the killing of stray dogs in their country. The organizations point out that there is an effective, expert-recognized method of managing a stray population: the TNVR program that sterilizes, vaccinates and returns the animals. Moroccan authorities pledged to invest in the TNVR program in 2019, after years of campaigning by local animal welfare organisations. But now animal welfare organisations are sounding the alarm, because the authorities are not keeping their agreements and violence against stray dogs in particular is increasing; they are tortured, poisoned, burned, starved and shot. Horrendous!

Animal welfare organisations need help to force action from the Moroccan authorities. The Party for the Animals is obviously behind them. What you can do? Sign the petition against the killing of stray dogs and share it: with 50,000 signatures, the issue will be discussed in Moroccan parliament. You can also call on the Moroccan authorities via social media to start working with animal welfare organizations for better policies with regards to stray dogs and humans. Use the hashtag #stopkillingdogsinmorocco. As the Moroccan organisations say: a safer country for dogs is also a safer country for people!

Greek Party for the Animals

This month, international support was needed for our Greek sister party, Komma Gia Ta Zoa as well. The party has brought together a strong group of candidates for the Greek parliamentary elections on May 21, but was banned from running in the elections at the last minute. The reason was a minor technical error related to a new electronic registration system for political parties that the Greek government had launched for the first time. Of course, the fundamental human right to participate in free elections cannot be taken away because of a technical error in a registration system that is being used for the first time. Several MEPs and others have expressed their concerns about the situation. We have joined with our sister parties worldwide in calling on the Greek authorities to protect democracy and give the Greek Party for the Animals (and the Green-Purple alliance of which it is a part) a fair chance to participate in the elections. It doesn’t look like this is going to happen and our sister party is considering a move to the European courts.

Fortunately, there was also good news for our Greek sister party: a city councillor and animal rights activist from the large city of Thessaloniki has joined the party. This means that Greece, for the first time in history, now has a municipal representative for the Party for the Animals. Next stop: even more animal protectionists at all levels of Greek government!

See you next time.

Ester Ouwehand

Party leader of the Dutch Party for the Animals