Worldlog Week 11 – 2012

12 March 2012

This Worldlog was written by Marianne Thieme's staff, as she is away on maternal leave.

Our parliamentary group of the Lower House called last week for State Secretary Bleker of Agriculture to live up to his promise to put a stop to megastall construction. We think that Bleker should revoke the construction permit for more than 20 megastalls with immediate effect. The State Secretary promised action during a debate on megastalls in December when he said this about a stall of 1.2 million chickens: “If, however, this is the start of a trend, then this trend is a reason to set national limits.”

Last year, the chamber accepted one of our motions, which proposed a stop to megastall construction. However, Bleker refuses to carry out the motion, leaving the policy over to provinces and municipalities, but they do not have the legal wherewithal to refuse megastall permits, which means the number of megastalls is still rising sharply. This must stop! These gigantic stalls are bad for animal welfare, nature, the environment and the quality of life for people around them.

Last week we learned that the Dutch police (or more accurately, the paramilitary) mission in the Afghan province of Kunduz will not be extended. The Party for the Animals is against this mission and argues that our next step to be to reduce forces. The fact that NATO requires this policy of 'education' to backed up by four F16 jet fighters and 165 military trainers gives us no reason to trust that this is mission is civilian in nature.

Four states in the United States have declared that recording undercover images of animal cruelty is a criminal act, which is bad news. Hopefully this trend will not spread to other parts of the United States.

Social media has a huge influence these days, a fact proved by the YouTube clip on Ugandan war criminal Joseph Kony. This American-made film intends to held track down the rebel leader of 'The Lord's Resistance Army' and have him tried at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Kony is responsible for masses of atrocities in Uganda, where he uses, often kidnapped, child soldiers. The film as been watched more than 32 million times. Aside from the positive reviews saying that it's a good idea to refocus on tracking down this war criminal, there also has been some criticism. Many are asking themselves whether this form of attention actually helps to solve the conflict.

Last week on a beach in Brazil, people carried out a very unusual, but successful rescue effort for thirty stranded dolphins. A tourist recorded images, which show that the dolphins kept swimming just a little too long and therefore wound up on the beach. People there happily sprang into action and ensured the dolphins returned to the sea. That's great news!

Sea Shepherd– an environmental organisation – has recently completed a mission in the South Pole. The Japanese whale hunting season is over and Sea Shepherd has some success: thanks to their continued action against the hunt, Japan only managed to kill 267 whales this year instead of their target 900. That is still 267 too many, but without the Sea Shepherd volunteers, they never would have achieved that effort. Japan is incurring increasing criticism for their illegal, cruel and pointless whale hunt. Such as on 21 February, when a federal court in Seattle rejected Japan's Institute for Cetacean Research's request to ensure that Sea Shepherd would have to cease their activities in the Antarctic Ocean.

Photo: Sea Shepherd

Next week we'll probably have some news about Marianne's new baby!