Worldlog Week 50 – 2010

17 December 2010

Last week Dutch parliament accepted the Party for the Animals’ motion in which it was stated that Iceland cannot become a member of the European Union (EU) if they do not stop the whale hunt immediately. I talked about this in the Worldlog last week. By accepting the motion the Netherlands has made it clear that the demand given to Iceland to stop the whale hunt is non negotiable in the conversations regarding the acceptance of Iceland to the European Union. If a country hunts whales, they cannot be a member of the EU!

The EU’s negotiation document has already established a ban for member states on the hunting of whales in European waters. The commitment conforms to the European Habitat Directive, which forbids the hunt of protected and endangered species such as the whale. Exceptions were made to this ban in previous acceptance negotiations. Malta stipulated that they provisionally be permitted to continue their traditional hunt on protected migratory birds –such as the spoonbill, the osprey and the purple heron. It is expected that Iceland will also attempt to negotiate a transition period or stand as an exception to the rule. The Lower Chamber wants to prevent the negotiations with Iceland from resulting in tolerance, whereby the EU turns a blind eye to the illegal whale hunt.

We have also succeeded in getting a motion accepted whereby the government would be expected to constantly strive to reduce the ecological footprint of the Netherlands in foreign countries. We use so many raw materials from foreign countries, particularly developing countries, that it has a negative impact on the living environment and food supply of the inhabitants of those countries: for example deforestation and environmental pollution and the cultivation of cattle feed for Dutch factory farming instead of for food for the local population.

And now over my time in Cancun during the climate summit. Almost all negotiations were in regards to the climate change problem particularly for the poorest countries, and the sharing of green technology. A reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by using obligatory measures was not successful. Particularly China and the United States stood in the way. At the summit I realized again that international organizations’ possibilities to create common policies are very limited. Every country chooses for their own interests first before the interests of the planet as a whole.

In an investigation by the international animal welfare organization FOUR PAWS it was discovered that fur contains very poisonous chemicals, such as nonylphenol ethoxylate (NPE), a substance which is banned in the EU on a large scale. In 38 percent of the samples the permitted levels of formaldehyde, a cancer-causing, allergenic substance, were exceeded. FOUR PAWS explained that clothing with fur is very popular at the moment and as a result of this there were an estimated hundred million animals bred and slaughtered in the fur breeding industry under horrible conditions in 2009. Hopefully this information will provide extra motivation to have this atrocious animal suffering banned completely in the European Union!

The Party for the Animals now has an international Facebook page. The page is in English and hopefully some good contact will take place between animal lovers all over the world. So join us there!

This is the last Worldlog for this year. The holidays are just around the corner and a lot of people are thinking about their New Year’s resolutions for 2011. I would like to ask everyone to practice these resolutions when doing their Christmas shopping, by choosing an animal-friendly and sustainable Christmas dinner. I will be back in the beginning of January 2011 to fight for animals, nature and the environment. I wish everyone nice holidays and a happy 2011!

Kind regards,