The last few weeks were dominated by cooperation with our European sister parties. For example, together with our sister parties PACMA and PAN we organised the premiere of the documentary film #Powerplant, in Portugal (Porto) and in Spain (Madrid). Both shows drew full houses and during the Q&A session afterwards I was talking with the audience. In Porto I was accompanied by my Portuguese colleague and PAN's leading candidate for the elections of the European Parliament (EP) Francisco Guerrereiro, while I was sitting next to Silvia Barquero, leader of the Spanish sister party PACMA, in Madrid.
Marianne and Silvia Barquero during the Q&A after #Powerplant was shown
We also received fantastic election news from our sister parties. The Spanish PACMA as well as the Finnish EOP grew during their national elections. Our Italian sister party Partito Animalista Italiano even made history: the court told the party that it is permitted to participate in the European elections as an independent party. This is absolutely unique for a party in Italy without a seat in parliament.
Additionally, another great victory for our international movement for animal rights: our sister party in the United Kingdom, Animal Welfare Party, beat both Labour and Conservatives candidates in a true David against Goliath battle during local elections in Alsager. Are you interested to find out how they did this? Here you can read all about it.
Our Australian sister party also just participated in federal elections and is hoping to have won one seat, but it will still take a while before the results are known. DierAnimal, our sister party in Belgium, is also preparing for its first elections ever. The party was only founded last year, but it has already managed to gain enough support to participate in the regional as well as the national and European elections. A great achievement!
Our European leading candidate Anja Hazekamp was in Brussels last week to show #Powerplant and to talk with the Belgian audience together with Constance Adonis, the founder of DierAnimal, during a Q&A. Constance described DierAnimal's current position very well: “We are already making the other parties nervous because, all of a sudden, they seem to pay attention to animal welfare. We are already making the difference in Belgium.” All Belgians can vote for DierAnimal on 26 May next. Grab your chance!
MEP Anja Hazekamp in Brussels, together with Constance Adonis of DierAnimal
Exciting days lie ahead for the Party for the Animals and its 10 European sister parties: the European elections, between 23 and 26 May! Over the last few months, we went around together to show European citizens that we are the only green, progressive parties that want to change course in the European Union (EU).
That is desperately needed, because the EU is spending billions on the destructive livestock industry, leaving rooms for polluting and poisoning activities, letting citizens and animals down, and failing to take action against the biggest threat to our future: the climate crisis. Did you know, for example, that the EU is even holding back on banning the use of animals such as cats and dogs in laboratories?
The IPBES, the largest international platform for biodiversity and ecosystem services (with 130 member countries), recently launched its alarming conclusions: the ecosystems which we and all other species depend on are deteriorating faster than ever. We are rapidly degrading the basis of our maintenance, food security and health.
According to the IPBES, we must move away from the current restricted paradigm of economic growth and change the subsidies on non-sustainable activities, such as agriculture and fishery, into sustainable alternatives. The EU is currently doing exactly the opposite. Together with our 10 European sister parties, united in Animal Politics EU, we are showing that things can be done better.
So in the campaign video we made together, we ask citizens: “May we have your votes, please?” Help us to make the difference. Share this message and please do vote!
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Already a few years ago, the Party for the Animals submitted a legislative proposal for a ban on slaughter without stunning. The proposal was rejected at the very last moment by the Dutch Senate. Afterwards, we submitted a new legislative proposal for a general obligation to have animals stunned prior to slaughter and it is now ready to be discussed in the Dutch Lower House.
Despite the Council State's confirmation that the legislative proposal serves a legitimate social purpose, the Council has advised to ‘reconsider’ the legislative proposal because the social need for a ban on unstunned slaughter was not sufficiently demonstrated. We do not share this opinion. It is beyond dispute that unstunned slaughter causes great animal suffering. A widely shared and growing indignation about this additional suffering lives within society. This is also what experts say, such as the Royal Dutch Society for Veterinary Medicine and the European Association of Veterinary Anatomists, who are of the opinion that the additional animal suffering due to unstunned slaughter is unacceptable.
A plenary debate will soon be held on our legislative proposal. I am looking forward to it. The freedom of religion ends where the suffering of others -humans and animals- starts. The slaughter’s religion should not make a difference for any animal. Moreover: fortunately, there is a growing group of religious people who accept stunning prior to slaughter and even find it more in line with their religion's animal welfare requirements.
We will keep you posted!
Until the next time,