Action Spotlight Europe: Help Improve Standards for Dogs

A slightly less known migration is one that takes place once a month right here in Europe. This migration involves several species, but is led by the little known Sodalis Europaeae Parliamenti, known more commonly as the Member of the European Parliament (MEP).With summer finally drawing to a close, and the last rays of sunshine leaving our shores, it is easy to see why some view this time of year as a cold and gloomy affair. But as Thomas Moore wrote, “Every season hath its pleasures”, and in autumn we are fortunate to be able to witness some of the great natural phenomena on earth – the mass migration of animals.

From the annual Great Migration of herbivores across the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem to our very own back-gardens where our native  birds prepare themselves for what has to be one of the most arduous and dangerous activities that a bird undertakes, Autumn is truly a wondrous season. A slightly less known migration is one that takes place once a month right here in Europe. This migration involves several species, but is led by the little known Sodalis Europaeae Parliamenti, known more commonly as the Member of the European Parliament (MEP).

Another prominent species which takes part in this great migration is the lesser known gratia politicus, or lobbyist, which follows its prey; the MEP from its home in Brussels, Belgium to the ancient city of Strasbourg in France. It is a strange phenomenon that the European Parliament has two homes; but for better or for worse the result of this strange political quirk is that this migration has become an integral part of life for these species. The migration succeeds in providing ample opportunity for the lobbyist to feast on its prey - the MEP.

These suspicious creatures are far from their homes and locked away in the Strasbourg European Parliament. Although not a fan of keeping wild species in captivity, this arrangement provides a fantastic opportunity for lobbyists like me to interact with parliamenti in an enriching environment. Next week I shall again embark on my monthly migration to Strasbourgin pursuit. So why, I hear you ask, am I going to Strasbourg? In all seriousness, the International Fund for Animal Welfare has been working hard to secure what is known as a Written Declaration in the European Parliament on dog population management.

The Written Declaration is a statement of policy which must be signed by a majority of MEPs within a set time period. If this happens, The Declaration becomes the official position of the European Parliament. We have all heard about the appalling and inhumane poisoning of dogs in Romania, or read in the newspaper about dogs used as weapons by gang members. A successful adoption of the written declaration would send a strong message to the EU’s Member States and the European Commission to work together to make the necessary changes to prevent such despicable activities from happening in Europe.

This session will be our last opportunity to convince MEPs to support this declaration as we are fast approaching our deadline. We have come so far, having already convinced 223 MEPs to support us; however we still require 146 more signatures. This is where we need your help. So as I embark on my monthly migration, I would like to ask you to help me to convince your MEP to support this Declaration by writing to them and asking them to sign Written Declaration 26 on Dog Population Management. Perhaps with your help, autumn will provide one more gift for us and our four legged friends. -- SS

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