The trade in exotic mammals is "alive and kicking" in the Netherlands, according to a study by animal protection foundation AAP. The foundation found 55 different breeds of exotic mammals for sale in the Netherlands, mainly online on Marktplaats and Facebook, but also at pet shops and animal fairs.
Minister Carola Schouten of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality wants supermarkets to stock more locally sourced products. She believes that a short food chain will strengthen the connection between farmers, conservationists and consumers, and thereby increase consumers' appreciation for food and where it comes from.
The Minister is therefore organizing, in collaboration with the provinces, a special trade mission to make local products more widely known and to stimulate short chains of delivery, Schouten wrote in a letter to parliament.
A team of experts in the field of oak processionary caterpillars is meeting with the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality this week. They hope to quickly come up with an action plan for how municipalities and provinces can tackle the millions of these poisonous caterpillars plaguing the country, NU.nl reports.
Dutch companies involved in the cultivation of flowers in developing countries agree that there are many abuses in this industry. The working conditions are poor and the excessive use of pesticides and water puts food productions in those countries at risk. Some 600 Dutch companies - from growers to supermarkets - therefore signed a covenant promising improvement, NOS reports.
This weekend will be another hot and sunny one in the Netherlands, with temperatures up to 33 degrees expected on Saturday and up to 32 degrees on Sunday. But a plague of poisonous caterpillars throughout the country is putting somewhat of a damper on the outdoor fun.
Around a hundred activists occupied a pig farm in Boxtel on Monday in a protest meant to draw attention to animal suffering in the Netherlands. A few dozen farmers also gathered for a counter protest. The police eventually put an end to the action. Dozens of protesters were arrested, NU.nl reports.
The number of cats and dogs used for medical experiments increased by 49 percent in 2017. In that year 909 dogs and 200 cats were used as lab animals, compared to 656 dogs and 89 cats in 2016, AD reports based on figures from the Dutch food and consumer product safety authority NVWA.
Half of the laboratory dogs and a third of the cats did not survive the experiments in 2017, according to the newspaper.
The Netherlands will ban the use of shock collars on dogs from July next year, Minister Carola Schouten of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality announced. She is also tackling abuses in the breeding of so-called "designer cats", RTL Nieuws and the Telegraaf report.
The shock collar ban applies to individual dog owners as well as qualified dog trainers. Those who still use shock collars after 1 July 2020, will risk a fine of up to 20 thousand euros, or a maximum prison sentence of three years, according to RTL.
Changing the names of Ministries and redistributing tasks between the different government departments is costing the Rutte III government an estimated 31.7 million euros, the Volkskrant reports based on a report by the Central Audit Service, which forms part of the Ministry of Finance.
Minister Carola Schouten of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality is introducing new animal welfare criteria for dog breeding, primarily focused on external characteristics such as the shape of the skull, nose and eyes. In this way she wants to make dog breeding healthier for the animals involved, ANP reports.
Thursday was a milestone for PVV leader Geert Wilders. He filed his 25th motion of no-confidence. The 'lucky' recipient of this motion was Minister Carola Scouten of Agriculture during a parliamentary debate on pulse fishing. The motion failed, RTL Nieuws reports.
"What did I do?" Wilders responded when RTL alerted him to this milestone. "Ah, a wonderful moment. There may be many more to follow."
The Netherlands will implement a total ban on the trade in ivory in March next year. "If you want elephants and rhinos not to be exterminated, you will also have to do something about the market", Minister Carola Schouten of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality said, RTL Nieuws reports.
Highly pregnant cows are slaughtered in the Netherlands several times a week, despite a ban on doing so. This involves cows pregnant with full-grown and viable calves in the 8th or 9th month of their pregnancy, RTL Nieuws reports based on figures received from Dutch food and consumer product safety authority NVWA.
Minister Carola Schouten of Agriculture wants to use a "light form" of genetic modification as part of her efforts to make agriculture in the Netherlands more sustainable. She is currently working with companies, farmers and Wageningen University to investigate the possibilities for experimenting with the so-called CRISPR-Cas method. She will send parliament a letter about their progress in the coming weeks, she said to the Volkskrant.
From 2020 all new dogs in the Netherlands must get a passport, Minister Carola Schouten of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality announced on Thursday. The government hopes that this will help in the fight against illegal animal trade. Animal welfare and taking good care of animals is "everyone's moral duty", the Minister wrote in a letter to parliament, NU.nl reports.
A legislative proposal to ban perpetrators of animal cruelty from owning pets for up to 10 years was submitted by Ministers Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security and Carola Schouten of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality. They hope that this bill will prevent animal cruelty and repetition in perpetrators, ANP reports.
The Dutch government wants to register the race, ethnicity, political views, and religion or philosophical conviction of anyone who applies for or renews a firearm license. These new requirements for firearm licenses are written in a legislative proposal that will be submitted to the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, next month, the Volkskrant reports.
There is officially a nationwide water shortage in the Netherlands, but the drinking water is not in danger, according to the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. As the drought is expected to continue in the coming weeks, more measures may be taken to distribute the available water as well as possible, NU.nl reports.
The Dutch union for arable farmers NAV asked Minister Carola Schouten of Agriculture to let potato farmers irrigate their crops with surface water, also in areas where a ban is currently in place. The NAV warns that many farmers are in danger due to the persistent drought, ANP reports.
The Dutch government no longer wants to take in sick or injured seals, unless they were injured by human action, Minister Carola Schouten of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality wrote to parliament. She is thereby adopting the advice of a committee that researched seal shelter in the Netherlands. The committee concluded that a 'hands off' approach should apply to sick or stranded seals, and that their care must be more professional, ANP reprots.
Both the Dutch egg sector and the government did not give food safety high enough priority when it came to the fipronil contaminated egg scandal of last year, a committee headed by former Minister Winnie Sorgdrager concluded after investigating the crisis. The previous government also did not properly inform parliament about what was going on, the committee found, ANP reports.
The Netherlands is up to its ears in illegal ivory trade and therefore directly complicit in the mass slaughter of elephants in Africa, American network Avaaz and action group Elephant Action League conclude in a scientific study that will be published next month, AD reports.
There is a strong desire among Dutch farmers to reform the agricultural sector so that it uses climate-friendly methods, according to an opinion poll among Dutch farmers by Geleen Consultancy on behalf of newspaper Trouw.
The researchers asked farmers about their own welfare, the current agricultural sector and their ideas for the future. Only 6 percent of respondents said they currently work organically. But over 80 percent said they want to switch to climate-friendly methods.
Over the past decades there's been a "dramatic" decline in the number of ground beetles and moths in two nature reserves in the Netherlands, according to Natuurmonumenten. The number of ground beetles declined by 72 percent in Wijster in Drenthe over the past 22 years, and the number of moths by 54 percent in Kaaistoep in Noord-Brabant over the past 20 years, NU.nl reports.