Worldlog Week 17 – 2012

23 April 2012

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

If the Lower House were to hold elections right now, the Party for the Animals would win four seats according to recent polls. This is double the number of seats we currently hold. That's great news! We note with particular pleasure that more and more people are supporting our body of thought.

The king of Spain, Juan Carlos went hunting for elephants last week and his trip enjoyed very little support. The hunt was brought to light when the Spanish king returned from his trip to Botswana with a broken hip. Elephants are highly protected animals, but they seem to make exceptions for rich trophy hunters. Our party asked parliamentary questions to clear a few things up about elephant hunting.

We additionally asked Dutch ministers to explain the Dutch supply of these kinds of hunting trips, where they offer the chance to shoot at protected animals. We additionally wish to know if members of the Dutch Royal House, that have regularly hunted with Juan Carlos on the Het Loo Crown Estate in the past, are also undertaking similar forms of hunting tourism. Spain's king Juan Carlos has a controversial track record when it comes to hunting – he has been involved in various hunting incidents in the past. What's more, Juan Carlos' hunting practices do not jibe with his honorary chairmanship of the Worldwide Fund for Nature in Spain. The Dutch Worldwide Fund for Nature has explained hunting elephants away in an explanation.

It's time for hunting tourism to be prohibited, as should offering these kind of trips in advertisements.

Last week, on the Party for the Animals' initiative, the Lower House discussed the consequences of fireworks in the Netherlands. We held a hearing in which ophthalmologists, environmental specialists, firework experts, the Police and law enforcement were asked to speak about their point of view on lighting private fireworks at New Year.

The Party for the Animals advocates a ban on private firework sales. Each year hundreds of people are severely injured at New Year, and many of them are children. Half of the victims are onlookers that do not even light fireworks themselves. Ophthalmologists indicate that the risk of injury in the Netherlands during New Year's celebrations would lead to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs advising against travelling there if it were a different country.

Not only ophthalmologists spoke out for measures to be taken, but mayors too. Many citizens also advocate a firework ban. In 2009, more than 65,000 people signed a citizens' initiative that called for the government to severely limit the lighting of fireworks. The government chose to ignore this manifesto at the time.

It is time to turn our tradition into going to a professional firework show. That way, everyone can enjoy the beautiful fireworks, without damaging people, animals and nature. The government will soon discuss this in a debate requested by the Party for the Animals. To be continued!

See you next week!