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    Belgian Botanic Garden faces criticism over deer culling

    The animal rights association, Gaia, accused the botanic garden of opting for an easy way out. Credit: NASA/Lauren Harnett

    The Flemish Minister for Animal Well-Being, Ben Weyts, has sent a letter to the management of the Meise Botanic Garden in Flemish Brabant asking it to explain why it culled some of its deer.

    Weyts told a commission of the Flemish Parliament on Wednesday that, without prior consultation, the institution, located just outside Brussels, had had about 10 deer killed to protect some of its species.

    The animal rights association, Gaia, accused the botanic garden of opting for an easy way out.

    In his letter, Weyts asked for an explanation of the circumstances surrounding the decision and expressed the wish that the action would not be repeated.

    In its response, the Meise Botanic Garden said it had acted on the advice of the Flemish Institute of Nature and Forest, INBO. The decision to have the animals killed was taken as a last resort, after all other means had been exhausted, it added.

    A meeting is to be arranged between officials of the botanic garden and animal well-being services to avoid any further slaughter of animals.

    Oscar Schneider

    The Brussels Times