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World's First AR Senator Inaugurated in Dutch Senate

The world's first animal rights senator inaugurated in Dutch senate.

THE HAGUE, 11/06/07 - A new milestone in Dutch animal rights politics. After gaining 2 seats in parliament in November 2006 and 9 seats in provincial governments in March 2007, on June 12 Niko Koffeman will be inaugurated as the first animal rights senator in the world.

After their breakthrough in national politics, the Dutch animal rights politicians try to inspire animal rights advocates in different countries to start their own Party for the Animals. In April, Koffeman and chairwoman Thieme visited New York, MP Ouwehand visited Boston, and Thieme visited Vienna to speak about animal rights politics in Austria.

Animal rights advocates investigate the possibility of founding a Party for the Animals in the United States, as has already happened in the UK, Germany, Spain, France and Canada, and is now being prepared in Austria.

The Party for the Animals became the world's first animal rights party to get elected to office when they won 2 seats (and almost 2% of all votes) in the Dutch national parliament on November 22nd 2006. On March 7th 2007 they achieved another election victory in the Netherlands, winning 9 seats in the provincial governments. Tomorrow the next step will be 1 seat in the national Senate, a new 'world's first'.

Since the pioneering entry of the Party for the Animals into the Dutch parliament, animal rights have become one of the most conspicuous issues in Dutch national politics. During the recent debate on the agricultural budget, 80% of the speaking time of all parties in parliament was dominated by the theme of animal rights.

Party chairwoman and MP Marianne Thieme was voted Political Talent of the Year 2006 by the Dutch parliamentary press. She was also voted 'most influential woman for the income of farmers in the Netherlands' by the biggest Dutch agricultural magazine, and women's magazine Viva awarded her the title of 'Most Spicy Politician of the Netherlands'.

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