Worldlog Week 40 – 2012

1 October 2012

Dutch animal rights activist Edwin Wiek was arrested in Thailand last Wednesday. Fortunately, he was released on bail several hours later after guarantees from the Dutch government. Edwin is embroiled in a conflict with the Thai government over the trade in captured baby elephants for the tourist industry. The Party for the Animals submitted parliamentary questions on the matter last February.

Edwin is the founder of the Wildlife Friends Foundation (WFFT), a reception centre for monkeys, tigers, elephants and bears saved from the hands of poachers and wildlife traffickers. Edwin is waging a fight against illegal poachers in Thailand who he says have for months been abducting baby elephants in the wild for use in the Thai tourist industry. The mothers of the abducted baby elephants are shot dead.

Edwin also claims that the poachers are supported by employees of the Thai Department of National Parks (DNP). If true, this would mean that Thai civil servants are involved in the hunt of baby elephants in Thailand. We are concerned about Edwin’s situation and will closely follow developments. It can’t be the case that the Thai government is involved in illegal poaching and jails the person who raises the issue!

Fishermen in the Japanese coastal town of Taiji have again this year begun their cruel dolphin hunt. This hunt is closely linked with the trade in dolphins for dolphinariums around the world. Japan issues 23,000 permits to coastal towns to capture wild dolphins. The finest examples are first sold for large sums to dolphin trainers from all over the world for placement in their dolphinariums. The remaining dolphins (including porpoises and small whales) are then cruelly dispatched by blows to the head with steel hooks. Every year hundreds of animals are killed during the hunting season (from September to March). We consider it an outrage that the Japanese government still allows this hunt, which serves no reasonable purpose. We will continue to do all we as a Netherlands-based political party to have this hunt stopped.

Australia has come up with the disastrous plan to eliminate the great white shark in the wake of multiple attacks by these sharks on the west coast of Australia in the past few years. What cruelty against these nomads of the animal kingdom. First people eat all the fish and when hungry sharks go searching for food along the coast, people kill the sharks…
Moreover, on average one Australian swimmer is killed by a shark each year, while ninety drown without a shark anywhere to be seen. When are we going to start pumping out the oceans?

Wonderful piece in the Guardian against the hatred currently being directed against badgers in Great Britain. Happily there are also farmers who want no part of it!

We are still receiving messages from all over the world regarding my outfit at the formal opening of the new parliamentary year: apparently, it was quite a hit 😉

Until next week, Marianne