“Brussels Government subsidising suffering of animals”

The animal rights group GAIA has lodged a complaint with the Brussels Judicial Authorities against the Brussels-Capital Region’s decision not to ban the ritual slaughter of animal at temporary abattoirs during the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice). In Flanders and Wallonia the Ministers regional responsible for animal welfare Ben Weyts (Flemish nationalist) and Carli Di Antonio (Francophone Christian democrat) have both banned the use of temporary abattoirs during Eid.

However, the Brussels Secretary of State responsible for animal welfare Bianca Debaets (Flemish Christian democrat) has chosen to continue to allow the use of temporary abattoirs for the ritual slaughter of animals.

GAIA’s Chairman Michel Vandenbosch told journalists that “This is totally illegal”. GAIA has asked the judicial authorities to carry out a criminal investigation.

In a statement released on Sunday GAIA says that "This year the Brussels Regional Government is spending 124,000 euro on setting up temporary abattoirs. This means that Brussels is subsidising the suffering of animals and aiding and abetting in the organization of criminal activity. It is up to the judicial authorities to hinder these illegal practices”

GAIA hopes that by lodging a complaint with the judicial authorities it will be able to prevent the ritual slaughter of animals at what it says will be three temporary abattoirs on Wednesday 23 September, the Feast of Eid al-Adha.

GAIA’s solicitor Johan Verstraeten points to a recent court ruling that stated that the ritual slaughter of animals outside recognised abattoirs is illegal.

Mr Verstraeten adds that the contents of the ruling was confirmed in advice given by the Council of State to the Brussels Regional Secretary of State responsible for animal welfare Bianca Debaets (Flemish Christian democrat, photo).

"If Ms Debaets it ignores this she will be aiding and abetting criminal activity”, Michel Vandenbosch added.
GAIA will distribute a letter explaining its position among Belgium’s Muslims.

"Our campaigns are directed against religious traditions, but rather against the animal suffering they cause”, the organisation stresses.