Worldlog Week 51 – 2012

17 December 2012

Great news for minks: the end of fur breeding in the Netherlands is in sight. Last Tuesday, the Upper House debated the legislative proposal to ban mink breeding. The majority is sure to sign off on the ban. The vote will take place tomorrow on Tuesday 18 December in the Upper House. People will soon be able to keep minks, but keeping them for their fur seems to have been brought to an end.

We have been working towards a ban since our conception. We recently tabled a motion in which we argue for a European ban on breeding animals for their pelts. Fur production is unethical, unnecessary, causes an enormous amount of animal suffering, and it damages the environment. Unfortunately the mink breeders have until 2024 to dismantle their business operations. This transitional period is a thorn in our side, as many millions of animals will die horribly before 2024 arrives. Unfortunately this was the only way to find a majority for the ban.

We believe that the Dutch Labour Party (PvdA) are leaving Dutch Q fever patients out in the cold, because they suddenly no longer want to apologise for the government's failed policy to combat Q fever. Q fever is a zoonotic illness in goats and sheep. The Q fever epidemic saw tens of thousands of people infected, four thousand people became chronically ill, and at least 25 people died as a consequence. Fifty thousand sheep and goats were also culled. If the government had acted earlier, the situation would have not gotten so out of hand.

We tabled a motion in July, because the government refused to apologise at the time and maintained that they acted appropriately during the Q fever epidemic. The motion was rejected. We thought the new Lower House composition would find a majority for the motion and that's why we brought the issue to order once more. But it was not to be. In July, the Dutch Labour Party (PvdA) voted for the motion, but have since suddenly changed their minds and have voted against apologising to Q fever patients. I think it is truly unbelievable and embarrassing to see how a party can do a complete 180 when given the responsibility of governance.

Wonderful news from Costa Rica. They're banning all forms of hobby hunting. They serve as a great example to the Netherlands. And good news from Vietnam and South Africa. There countries are working together to protect rhinoceroses from poachers. Hopefully this will help give this majestic animal the protection it deserves.

And I'll take my leave this week with a positive message! 😉 The following is a powerful story by 86-year old Sherrey Reim Glickman on her reasons for turning vegetarian on her 86th birthday. It's never to late to change your behaviour to help improve the world!

And along this vein, the outlook for 2013 is encouraging: meat consumption in the West is declining. Plant-based nutrition is gaining increasing ground.

This week we're working hard on the debates, but after that it's Christmas recess. Here are some gorgeous photos to finish up.

I wish everyone happy holidays and see you again in the new year!