Welcome to the website of Hope for OVP.
This website belongs to the facebook group ActieVOERgroep OVP.
The Oostvaardersplassen is an area between Almere and Lelystad in management of Staatsbosbeheer. In this area live 3 types of big grazers Konik horses, Heck oxes and red deer.
These animals live in high quantity in a area that is way to small, and every autumn and winter there is little to no food left. Therefore there are a lot of animals that either are starved to death or shot, and we want to change this!
1 of the ways we are doing this is by feeding the animals ourselves. Behind the scenes Staatsbosbeheer also feeds, but that is only untill 21 april. They are only feeding very small amounts and way to little, and this is the reason we are still feeding them.
There are multiple groups active that are feeding the animals and try to encourage a change of policy in the Oostvaardersplassen.
What does this group stand for?
As ActieVOERgroep we feed the animals with donated hay, or hay bought from the funds we get from our donators. Feeding the animals is, sadly, still prohibited, resulting in fines for the people that are feeding. Our feeders are aware of this, but take it as is. Feeding the animals is the ONLY ‘illegal action’ we are fully behind as a group. we do NOT condone any other behaviours like treaths and vandalism. If we are caught by police or Staatsbosbeheer, we ask our feeders to co-operate to avoid escalation of the situation.
Demonstrating is a right, but this right is lost when the demonstration is not peacefull. We are pro demonstrating, but not for escalation and violation of rules other than peacefull feeding. We will only be at demonstrations that are either organised by us, or are organised by groups with the same mindset.
It is always possible that our feeders find an animal that is in distress, cannot stand up, skinny, and very much likely to die. Sadly the policy of Staatsbosbeheer is that these animals do not get a vetinarian to check up on them. We can jump high and low that we want this different, but reality is that calling a vet for these suffering animals is not going to happen. There are only 2 options left when such animals are found: Leaving the animal behind to starve a slow, painfull death (which can take days) – or call a forester to end the suffering of this animal. We are choosing for the last option to call Staatsbosbeheer for a forester.
Most likely you will be urged to move along , so it is unnessesary for them to call the police. We want to avoid any situations where campaigners are being on top of the forester for shooting the animal; The animal will be shot anyway, we can only try to do our best not to be in the way of people doing their jobs. Shooting the animal wrongly will happen less frequent when we are not threatening and screaming at them.
Furthermore, If anyone sees an animal suffering, do not get closer to it, unless you can really help the animal because it is just stuck or in the water. The animals that are dying, especially deer, are afraid of people. They’re in severe distress when people are talking to them, or petting them, and it is only more frightening.
There are many emotions about Oostvaardersplassen. These emotions can reach unlimited heights and will really limitate the foresters in doing their jobs. The foresters on Oostvaardersplassen are being threatened and screamed at, and get huge amounts of negativitety upon them. Even agressive movements are happening. Pictures, license plates and adresseses are being shared online, with the message to seek them and do them something. There are responses from people who want to tie them up, or wanting to shoot them. But keep in mind these Foresters are only doing their jobs, whether we like that or not. The politics come from much higher, not fromt he Foresters. This type of behaviour is unacceptable, and we do not tolerate any of this. Not on this page, neither in our group. Threatening by sharing personal information from one of the Foresters, or a police officer, WILL result in a permament ban from our page.
We only feed poor hay. Carrots, straw, apples and pellets are absolutely NOT fed and we want to urge everyone NOT to feed these, because it brings the animals in danger. Some animals are already so sore in their stomach that the food might kill these animals already, and feeding those other products make it even worse.
Horses who are starving are prone on getting stomach sores (also called gastric ulcer). In very urgent cases this can lead to perforation of the stomach (stomach ruptures). The stomach is so thin, that food can be too much too quick. Suffering from prolonged hunger is the main cause of gastric ulcer, but not feeding is, even though the risk of early death, not an option because then they face malnnutrition. With feeding we can hopefully save the animals who are not to broken on the inside. Roughage helps the animals chewing so the acidity of the stomach lowers and the sores can heal again. Pellets, candy, vitaminblocks etc on a affected stomach can give acute problems. more information about gastric ulcer on horses can be found here: http://www.succeed-equine.com/succeed-blog/2016/03/29/complete-guide-gastric-ulcers-horses/#Causes
– Red Deer
Red deer also face dying of either malnutrition or feeding hay. We will still be feeding them hay because if we do not do this, more animals will die, not from feeding, but from malnutrition.
We will hopefully be saving more animals when we feed them. Deer prefer easily digestible roughage and also prefer more feeding moments a day, because they only have limited rumen.
Structure is very important in order to guarantee a good rumen effect. Too concentrated or too little chopped food is in many cases deadly. Penszzuring occurs with easily digestible carbohydrates, such as fruit and apples. Therefore also feed these animals nothing but poor hay! More information about red deer: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/deer-on-farm-welfare/caring-for-deer
– Heck oxes
An ox is a ruminant. If cattle eat, they do not chew. Ox slam their tongue around the grass, and then swallow it without chewing. This means that the grass must be reasonably long to be able to eat properly. The cattle in the Oostvaardersplassen are therefore in a bad condition. They can find little food. These animals, too, must only have poor hay because of their miserable condition. More information about the Heck Cattle can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heck_cattle
At the moment our focus is mainly on feeding the animals. That is what this group was created for. That is focus number one. It will remain our first focus and also our most important function.
In addition, we are working behind the scenes on several things, including throwing lines to the media, contacting well known Dutch people who might want to help, conversations with experts who might want to link their name to an article, and also trying to make contact with SBB themselves.
Feeding alone is not a lasting solution. We can not continue to carry on for years. Fortunately, there is already a green haze on the plains and there will be plenty of food available in the summer (at least we hope so), which will give us some rest.
Unfortunately, after the summer, the drama will start again – if we do nothing. Our goal is to ensure that the drama in the Oostvaardersplassen is solved by that time. In order to accomplish this, we can’t avoid having to go around the table with all parties – and that is not possible if you threaten or harass those parties. The dialogue must remain open.
I hope that everyone who is a member of this page respects and guarantees our vision – despite any other opinions. Also in reactions to each other. There are a lot of people and a lot of opinions. That’s fine. That is allowed. We like to see a healthy, spirited discussion, but we do have a discussion with respect and absent from personal attacks.
If you can not find yourself in our vision, there are plenty of other pages around the net. Each with their own focus and ideology that you can possibly join.