Animal protection advocates disappointed in politics
Animal Protection no longer vests its hope in politics in The Hague to improve animal welfare.28 January 2008
THE HAGUE – Animal Protection no longer vests its hope in politics in The Hague to improve animal welfare. Instead the organisation hopes that ordinary Dutch residents will bring about change via their purchasing behaviour.
On the day that Parliament will talk about animal health and welfare, Animal Protection has placed a full-page advertisement in various morning newspapers. A small block of text on an otherwise empty page points out to the reader the concrete result for the laying hen of thirty years of political discussion.
The animal now has more space, a half an A4 sheet, the same size as the block of text. “It is doubtful if anything will be added to this today. If you want to change something then you should turn to your supermarket rather than the government,” is the message from Animal Protection.
Director Frank Dales feels that Agriculture Minister Gerda Verburg is sitting quietly waiting for decisions from the EU. “The minister can take action and play a leading role. The Netherlands can handle it.”
Dales says that politics, despite vain attempts from the Socialist SP, Democrats D66, and the Animal Rights Party, has not managed to get the minister moving. “The small steps being taken in the right direction are so extremely small. We hope this advertisement makes that clear.”
He thinks it absurd that he has to ask Dutch residents themselves to take action. “But we’ve no other choice. We have waited in vain for the government and politics.”
Dales accuses Verburg of feigning deafness to the call for more attention to animals. “Her policy has the same DNA as that of former minister Cees Veerman and that means that economic motives are priorities and self-regulation the magic word. ‘Let the market parties sort it out themselves’ sounds good but in practice the rule of ‘the strongest survives’ applies and the animals are not the strongest.”
Dales says that the motto resembles the slogan of the smokers’ lobby from the 1990s. “We’ll sort it out together.” “If the government had gone along with that, a smoking ban in the workplace and public areas would never have come about. The government sometimes has to intervene from above in order to bring about necessary but drastic changes.”
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2008]
Subject: Dutch news