Implementing veterinary and animal welfare regulations in semi-natural pastoral landscapes in The Netherlands.

Ed G M van Klink, Hans Kampf

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The operations in nature reserve areas are monitored tightly by interest parties. Farmers organisations have been very critical particularly about the practices in large practically natural areas. The animal rights movement has been very critical also. Most of the criticism was directed to the Oostvaardersplassen. The farmers organisations were apprehensive about the differences between the various management types because of alleged legal inequality. The animal protection association was particularly critical on the fact that numbers of animals die each winter. The other track A area, the Veluwezoom, was less subject of criticism. Possibly this was caused by the fact that the animal population did not grow as fast in this region as in the Oostvaardersplassen, and there was also the possibility of extending the grazing area, which was much more difficult in the Oostvaardersplassen. The criticism already had resulted in management protocols being set up for the management of weak and dying animals. These protocols are implemented to this day in both track A areas. In 2005 the issue had become political; this necessitated the Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality to appoint an international committee to look into the problems and to give advise on further approaches. In June 2006 this committee delivered its report: Advice of the International Committee on the Management of large herbivores in the Oostvaardersplassen (ICMO). The core of the advice was, that the management as it was practiced was adequate, but that in the long run extension of the area would be necessary to make more varied biotopes available and to buffer the growth of the population. Public anxiety seems largely to have died down since.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings Symposium 2008. Internationale Fachtagung zu tierschutz- und veterinärmedizinischen Aspekten halboffener Weidelandschaften
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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