Slaughter without stunning: prohibition likely to be postponed until 2019 – Walloon and Flemish agendas similar
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    Slaughter without stunning: prohibition likely to be postponed until 2019 – Walloon and Flemish agendas similar

    © Belga
    The version of the text suggested by Josy Arens and Christine Defraigne, anticipating different times for the new law to come into force for sheep and cattle respectively, was rejected.
    © Belga

    This morning (Friday) an amendment was due to be put before the Walloon parliament’s Environment Committee to the consensual decree prohibiting the slaughter of animals without prior stunning. The aim is to hold over its coming into force until September 1st, 2019.

    The intention is allow the sector to develop adequate methods for reversible stunning for sheep and cattle during ritual slaughter.

    The plan is for such methods to come into force simultaneously.

    Electronarcosis is not yet ready for cattle, owing to issues around the weight of such cattle when carrying out the process.

    A previous version of the text, initiated by the deputies Josy Arens (cdH) and Christine Defraigne (MR), anticipated deferring the application of the law to cattle until 2019. On the other hand, mid-2018 was envisaged for sheep.

    The partial deferment, in its current form, will allow stakeholders to avoid discrimination between breeders of the different species, and a risk of confusion in the implementation of the new rules.

    Moreover, the time frame will facilitate adequate staff training. It is equally motivated by a concern to adhere to the agenda in Flanders. There a long consultation process recently ended in political agreement.

    This highly inspired the deputies in Wallonia.

    If the Environment Committee has adopted the text this morning, it will be first vote of its kind in this sphere to take place within a Belgian parliamentary body.

    The animal rights association, GAIA, was once again present this morning outside the Walloon parliament, as were representatives of Islamic and Jewish faiths.

    Oscar Schneider
    The Brussels Times