Saturday, December 02, 2006

Press Release

Party for the Animals gains 2 parliamentary seats in the Netherlands


Amsterdam, 11/23/2006 – On Wednesday, November 22, the Dutch political Party of the Animals gained 2 seats in the 150-member legislature in The Netherlands. This makes the Netherlands the first country in the world in which a party for animal welfare is elected into a representative body of the people.

“We are thrilled with such a wonderful result of our campaign”, says party leader Marianne Thieme. “Finally we can start realizing our party’s highest priority, namely ending all animal suffering. We want a constitutional amendment, guaranteeing animals the right to freedom from pain, fear and stress caused by humans. Let’s begin with easing the suffering of the hundreds of millions of cows, pigs and chickens stuck in factory farming”, she said. Thieme feels success in the Netherlands could help the movement elsewhere. One of the party’s purposes is to be an inspiration for other countries and animal rights activists.

A growing number of Dutch people are wondering why it is necessary to have economic interests prevail over ethical considerations when it comes to animal welfare and the interests of nature and the environment. “The Party for the Animals expresses this concern that so many Dutch have”, says Esther Ouwehand, number two on the party list, explaining the party’s victory.

The party and viewpoints of party leader Marianne Thieme received a great deal of media attention. After law school and a brief corporate career, she decided to enter politics as an advocate for all animals and founded the Party for the Animals. A large number of well known Dutch authors such as Jan Wolkers, Kees van Kooten, Maarten ’t Hart and Harry Mulisch have joined the Party for the Animals. 20 of the party’s 30 candidates are opinion leaders in the Netherlands. Also a number of business people have contributed large sums of money to the Party for the Animals, allowing for a full-fledged political campaign.

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