Gaia on Monday launched an Internet site “www.jevoteanimaux.be” to enable electors to vote in the clearest, most animal-friendly manner at the regional, federal and European elections. The animal rights organisation concludes that the Parti Socialiste (PS), Centre Démocrate Humaniste (cdH) and Démocrate Fédéraliste Indépendant (DéFI) award the most considerable importance to animal wellbeing in French-speaking Belgium.
Gaia sifted through the programmes of the various political groups in the country to determine their commitment to animal wellbeing and sent a 12-point questionnaire to the president of each group on its priorities concerning the defence of animal rights for the next legislature.
“Animal well-being is definitely on the social agenda of our country,” said Gaia President Michel Vandenbosch. “The parties are increasingly aware of it, so it’s also becoming a political issue.”
According to Gaia’s analysis, the parties that are strongest on animal wellbeing are the PS, cdH and DéFI in French-speaking Belgium, and the Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie (N-VA), Socialistische Partij Anders (sp.a) and Groen in Flanders.
The party with the highest number of positive responses on Gaia’s 12 priorities is the PS, which said “Yes” to 11 and only abstained on the banning slaughter without stunning in the Brussels Region.
The cdH, for its part, agreed with 10 of the priorities. Moreover, it has the advantage that Wallonia’s Minister for Animal Wellbeing, Carlo Di Antonio (cdH) “has carried out a policy marked by major advances in terms of animal protection and rights,” Gaia stressed, awarding him 17/20 for his term in office.
Gaia said it was pleasantly surprised by DéFI, which responded positively to 11 of its priorities and only said “No” to cell-based meat. In its election programme, the democratic, federalist independent party highlights the importance of animal wellbeing with seven concrete proposals for Wallonia, including on force-feeding, six for Brussels and one at the federal level.