The animal welfare group Gaia on Wednesday offered legislators eggs for lunch outside Wallonia’s parliament in Namur to encourage them to vote for a new animal welfare code whose provisions include a ban on rearing layers in cages. “This is a big day for animals and all who love them,” said Gaia President Michel Vandenbosch. “If the parliamentarians approve the new code, Wallonia will be among the most progressive regions on animal wellbeing.”
Parliamentarians were treated to an omelette made with eggs produced in conditions that respect the hens, was prepared by Kevin Roquet, formerly of the Top Chef TV programme. Many legislators accepted their share, including Christine Defraigne of the Reformist Movement (MR), Véronique Waroux (Humanist Democratic Centre, cdH) and Ecolo’s Matthieu Daele.
The person everyone was waiting for, Wallonia’s Animal Welfare Minister, Carlo Di Antonio (cdH), did not fail to turn up for his bit of omelette. “Seeing that Gaia recognizes our work is an honour because they are in the forefront in terms of animal wellbeing,” he said. “It’s a beautiful reward for me, but also for all those who have worked on this text, hoping that it will be approved.”
While welcoming the progress the text represents, Gaia regretted the fact that it did not address force feeding. “However,” Vandenbosch admitted, “Rome was not built in a day.”