Worldlog Week 43 – 2010

29 October 2010

It was party time at the Party for the Animals on Thursday 28 October because we are now eight years old! I went to The Chamber of Commerce, the organisation where new political parties must register in order to be allowed on the Electoral Council, on 28 October 2002 at 16:45. It was just 15 minutes before the registration deadline and I asked several visitors to the Chamber of Commerce if I could cut ahead of them because it was urgent. Time flies, it's already been eight years. I am very proud of the results we have achieved in the past eight years, and that meanwhile we now have 25 members of parliament in the Upper and Lower Houses, the Provincial Council, the municipalities and District Water Boards.

Last week we held the debate over the government policy statement. Our new Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, has an open attitude and that is a breath of fresh air after Balkenende, our previous Prime Minister. During the debate he said he was concerned about animals in the cattle industry. He said he finds the method of slaughtering chickens and pigs as horrendous as we do. He had stated earlier that he abhors discount butchers, he soon proved, however, to have completely different priorities and will do nothing for the time being…

During the government policy statement debate, the Party for the Animals hammered home the point that the government continuously argues for not passing on the bill in terms of budget shortfalls, but never takes into account the fact that we are passing on the bill with regards to keeping the earth as a liveable environment. The cabinet thinks solely in terms of money and not in terms of liveability. It is my opinion that the cabinet can ill afford putting nature and environmental objectives on ice. We are living on the next generation's resources. The Dutch cabinet says they don't want to pass the bill on, but then turns around and passes the most valuable and important bill on to our children and our children's children: exhausting our and their planet. The Party for the Animals will work hard during this term to get animal welfare, sustainability and compassion high on the political agenda.

Last week was the UN Conference on protecting plant and animal species in Japan. The more than 190 participating countries were hoping to adopt a strategy that would apply until 2020 to preserve plant and animal species, but negotiations progressed with difficulty. Research results from one of the biggest studies ever done into the fate of vertebrate animals were presented at this summit on biodiversity. The picture was unfortunately sombre. One in five vertebrate animals is under threat of extinction and the problem gets worse each year! It is so disheartening to hear that every year 50 species take one step closer to dying out forever.

The polar bear is on the endangered species list

Biodiversity loss is partially caused by the West's consumption behaviour, because we draw heavily on the world's available resources. There is an average of 2.1 hectares of ground available to everyone on the globe, but the average Dutch citizen uses approximately 4.4 hectares. If every person in the world did the same, we would need two earths.

But the researchers happily found one ray of hope: animal protection really works! Without people's efforts to save endangered, vertebrate animal species, 18% of animals already on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List would be in a worse state.

The Party for the Animals believes that the Netherlands too should take measures now to do its bit to halt global biodiversity loss.

See you next week!