Thursday, 1 March 2012

The EU circus

Richard North, EU Referendum, has picked up the story about MPs pressing for a ban of animals in circuses. The statement by Jim Paice, Agriculture Minister, in Parliament can be read in Hansard after which Mark Pritchard's comments can be read on Politics Home. It is perhaps worth noting that Richard North's opinion on Mark Pritchard is not that complimentary (here and here) and no doubt his opinion remains the same now.

Incidentally on the 15th February the European Commission issued a communication on the European Union Strategy for the Protection and Welfare of Animals 2012-2015 and a conference was held yesterday and today hosted by the EU Commission and the Danish Presidency on "Empowering consumers and creating market opportunities for animal welfare". It should also be noted that in February 2011 the European Circus Association (ECA) wrote to the Commission that the ECA preferred option D which entailed a mix of a framework law, objective indicators, co-regulation, a communication strategy, and a European-wide system for licensing animal personnel.

Note the ECA's preferred option includes "licensing animal personnel"; note also that Directives when published usually have an implementation date a year or two ahead - which begs the question what 'discussions/negotiations' have been held twixt the EU and Member States on animal welfare (and in particular, circuses) and is licensing one of the agreed options? In which case is our 'toy government' just implementing one aspect of the agreed package, whilst awaiting confirmation of the 'whole package'? Just asking........

That no mention was made by our politicians of the communication, conference or even of the letter from the ECA; that the MSM likewise either had not done their homework or in collusion, or at the behest of political 'requests', they chose not to mention the foregoing does not auger well for transparency. Now did not the Coalition programme for government promise in the Foreward that: "...So we will extend transparency to every area of public life....."? 

Besides the Independent, this story was also covered by the Daily Telegraph, in which article Christopher Hope - in the print edition - wrote:
"Mr. Paice will tell MPs that an outright ban will not be enforced for up to two years because of pressures on the parliamentary timetable."
which he doesn't appear to have done and in any event it would have been a pretty feeble excuse considering only in January Jack Straw was complaining about the lack of legislative work for MPs.

Reverting to the 'transparency thingy', where politicians deliberately hide the truth from their people; where the MSM deliberately choose to do likewise, then we truly are entering an Orwellian world of mind control.

Update: Just noticed that the ECA advises on their website that Greece, on 31st January 2012, passed a law banning the use of all animal species in any form of show business. Bearing in mind that which Richard North wrote about "occupied fields", it should be interesting to see what the European Commission has to say about this intrusion to their power base. Oh, hang on - I have just realised that Greece is now but a Brussels 'protectorate', so presumably this intrusion will be overlooked.


microdave said...

"Greece passed a law banning the use of all animal species in any form of show business."

Ye Gods....does this mean that domestic pets will no longer be allowed in sitcoms, for instance? Or what about programmes like "Animal Rescue"?

Or am I missing the point on "Show Business"?

WitteringsfromWitney said...

md: Which was the point I was making when I said Greece has banned all animals - when the EU specifically omitted what it terms are domesticated animals.