According to the Animals Party (PvdD), Minister Piet Adema (Agriculture, ChristenUnie) put a “very special trick” on the fringes of the House and Senate in tackling animal abuse in livestock. “It’s an insult to Parliament,” PVD Dee MP Leonie Festring said during a parliamentary session on Thursday. “Unacceptable and heartless.”
It’s about a controversial amendment to the Animals Act, which caused an uproar in the media, politics and among farmers last year. The opposition party PvdD sees this adopted amendment as the end of the current intensive livestock farming in the Netherlands – and soon, as of January 1, 2023. On the other hand, CDA MP Dirk Bosvik described this amendment as “perhaps the worst amendment ever in our parliamentary history”. “Thursday.
According to the Vestering Amendment, harming animals for the sake of their shelter is not a “reasonable purpose” and is therefore prohibited. Animals should be given adequate space, daylight and bathing water for their normal behaviour; The stable and the pen should adapt to animals and not the other way around.
So no more chickens, ducks, pigs, cows and goats crowding in intensive livestock farming. No more burning, clipping or cutting tails, horns, toes or beaks to prevent angry animals from injuring each other, risking infection.
In 2002 and 2007 Reservoirs Kok-II and Balkenende IV already indicated that the “species-specific behavior” of animals in ranching should become the focus, states PvdD. The amendment had to give substance to this twenty years later.
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Caretaker Agriculture Minister Carola Schouten (Kristenoy) opposed, but in May last year the House of Representatives voted in favor of an 81-seat majority. The Rutte-IV government did not yet exist, and the current D66 coalition party also voted for it at that time. The Senate rejected the proposal as a hammer piece and the approved amendment was put into effect Official Gazette Posted.
The only thing that was missing for the amendment to enter into force was the official signature from the Minister of Agriculture.
After the vote, confusion and criticism arose, especially from right-wing parties. Does the modification also apply to pets in addition to livestock, and can you still walk your dog on a leash or keep rabbits in the kennel?
New Agriculture Minister Adema also criticizes the amendment, although he believes that livestock farming must change. “Animals are not things” and “you have to take good care of them,” he said during the parliamentary debate. He added that one calls it stewardship, and the other calls it sustainability.
The Council of Ministers conducted a legal test of the amendment and discussed it with the agricultural sector. Conclusion: amending the law is not enforceable
But the Cabinet has legally tested the Vestering Amendment and has spoken to state attorneys, the judiciary, experts and the agricultural sector. Conclusion: amending the law is impractical. Such far-reaching agrarian reform cannot be arranged in one year. The mod is also not very clear about the animals involved, what is prohibited and what exactly is normal behaviour. Cabinet fears ranchers may be embroiled in unexpected lawsuits.
Adema wants to initiate the PvdD amendment now – effective January 1, 2024 instead of 2023 – but at the same time he wants to introduce a new cattle breeding rules bill early next year, which would rescind the amendment up front.
Instead of this adjustment, Adema wants to strike a compact with the animal husbandry sector: including interest groups for agriculture and horticulture, pigs, poultry, dairy, and supermarkets. Adema wrote in a letter to Parliament on Friday that he wanted to incorporate the criteria that arise from this into the lower regulations.
Read the opinion article: Give animals a place at the negotiating table
This covenant is in line with the “agricultural agreement” that Adima also wants to conclude with farmers on nitrogen processing and the future of agriculture. To prevent angry farmers’ protests from erupting again, his ministry is sticking to silent diplomacy, with the House of Representatives at a distance.
This is the sore point of the party for the animals. “As a co-legislator, the House is being pushed aside,” Festring said Thursday. “Instead, the agricultural industry can rewrite the law” and determine “when and how.”
Agro-industries may rewrite the law in place of the House of Representatives as a co-legislator
Leonie Festring MP Pvd
Minister Adema objected in the debate that it was not just about the agricultural parties. The covenant will be concluded with a balanced composition of the various parties. “One party,” replied Vestering. Only animal protection was mentioned in the letter to Parliament.
Festring also asked the Minister if you think this process is democratically pure. Adema responded that it would soon be up to the House of Representatives to vote on the new bill.
There seems to be a majority for this law up front, because the D66 agrees with Adema. Not because the D66 is now a coalition party, says MP Tegerd de Groot when asked, but because the amendment requires more elaboration. “It could have been more accurate,” de Groot says afterwards of amending the party law for animals.
“A covenant shouldn’t be a handshake,” says de Groot. “It should never be diluted.” With scientific support and support in this sector, it is believed to be the basis for putting an end to “factory farming”.
So what does the D66 understand through the normal behavior of animals, GroenLinks MP asked Laura Bromet. Do we still have to separate calves from cows to make milk for humans? “I think it’s okay to take a baby from an animal,” Bromite said. “While I drink my cappuccino in the morning.”
Ultimately, most people prefer animal-friendly farming, CDA member Bosvik said, but they buy a kilogram of blasters at the supermarket.