Live butterfly in Mother’s Day gift box creates stir
Intratuin Netherlands wants to pack live butterflies and sell them as Mother’s Day gifts.THE NETHERLANDS – News that live butterflies will be packaged as Mother’s Day gifts and sold in garden centre Intratuin has been criticised by the Animal Rights Party (PvdD) and the Dutch Butterfly Conservation in the Netherlands.
The PvdD, which holds two seats in the 150-seat lower house of parliament, slams the sale of a live butterfly in a box as cruel and has asked the Nature Minister Gerda Verburg to ban the sale of the “fragile creatures”.
PvdD leader Esther Ouwehand was quoted in the AD as saying: "This is bizarre; butterflies do not belong in boxes."
The thistle butterflies, which will be sold in one of Intratuin branches in South Holland, will be priced at EUR 6.99 each.
The sales promotion is aimed at highlighting the plight of some butterfly species in the Netherlands, said a spokesperson for Intratuin. The company expects purchasers to release the insects within 24 hours, thus boosting the butterfly population.
The Dutch Butterfly Conservation condemns the plan and fears that many thistle butterflies are unlikely to survive their time spent in the box.
"It's a really bad idea. The chance that the butterfly will die is really, really high. If they get warm in the box, they start flapping their wings, get stressed and damage their wings," said Kars Veling of the Dutch Butterfly Conservation organisation.
However, Intratuin maintains there is nothing wrong with selling live butterflies.
"We are always very careful with the sale of live animals… It's also part of a campaign to make people aware of the fact that butterflies are facing serious problems in this country," said an Intratuin spokesperson.
The argument is invalid according to Veling who said butterfly numbers have fallen dramatically over the last 30 to 40 years due to the enormous changes in the Dutch landscape.
“Releasing a few butterflies won't help at all," said Veling.
Radio Netherlands / Expatica