“It was a true hell: all the pens were full of stress diarrhoea”
It has become clear that numerous animals didn’t survive New Year’s Eve celebrations and perished as a result of stress caused by fireworks being let off. Antwerp Province was particularly badly hot.
Wallaby keepers in Herenthout discovered one dead animal when they checked their animals on New Year’s Day. The wallaby was expecting and a baby wallaby was found in its pouch, but soon died.
“Fireworks were let off in an adjacent meadow” explains their owner. “We aren’t opposed to fireworks, but do they really have to be lit in the meadow next door”.
In Lint a foal was born four months early and perished. “This may have happened because the mare was too stressed” says the local alderwoman for animal welfare Caroline Van der Heyden. “People could stay with the animals like my father who stayed with the horses, but it’s not only at midnight that fireworks are let off.”
In Mechelen workers at the animal sanctuary were in shock on New Year’s Day. People ignored the ban on letting off fireworks near the sanctuary. “It was a true hell” one worker posted on Facebook. “The pens were full of stress diarrhoea, the dogs were exceptionally nervous. We will have to draw up new training plans for several dogs because their trust is shattered. We expect cats to come down with the calicivirus and bladder infections as a result of the stress.”