If it sounds like an idea inspired by the Animal Planet show "Animal Cops," it's because it was.There will soon be 500 police officers on the streets of Holland protecting the welfare of the country's animals.
The Netherlands will soon have 500 new "animal police" officers, thanks to a move from Geert Wilder's anti-Islam Party for Freedom (PVV).As part of the government coalition agreement signed in the Netherlands last fall, Wilders pushed for the 3,000 officers who were once slated to be cut from the police force to be retained, but with 500 of them reassigned to work on animal welfare issues.It was reportedly the pet issue of Dion Graus, a PVV member of the House of Representatives whose previous jobs include selling cars and veterinary products.The new "animal police" will consist of regular police officers, with the same powers, but with special training that is still being developed, said Job van der Sande, spokesperson for the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice.The first 100 should be in place by the end of the year.
The Party for the Animals The proposal originated with The Party for the Animals (Pvd D), a party in the Dutch parliament that is the first of its kind in the world -- a political party elected by the people to represent the animals.
The Party for the Animals first entered Parliament in 2006, and now holds two of the 150 seats in the Dutch House of Representatives, one seat in the Dutch Senate, and nine seats in eight provincial governments.
Marianne Thieme, chairperson of The Party for the Animals, said the original idea for the new officers came from the TV show "Animal Cops," a popular program on Animal Planet in the Netherlands and in other European countries, including Germany.
"Animal Cops" chronicles the work of animal welfare officers in different US cities, including Houston, Philadelphia and Phoenix.
Thieme said her party supports the new animal police, but is waiting to see how they work in practice.
"We think it's a good idea, of course, as an animal rights party we are always in favor of working for animal welfare," Thieme told SPIEGEL ONLINE.