Millions of animals die every year on livestock farms in Flanders before they even reach the slaughterhouse. MP Meyrem Almaci (Groen) blames intensive livestock farming and argues that the system is “completely out of control”.
Groen (the Flemish greens) has estimates that more than 3 million animals die annually in Flemish livestock farms before they are sent to the slaughterhouse. The party calculates that 550,000 pigs, 110,000 cattle and 35,000 sheep and goats were collected last year. In addition, there were 55,000 loads of dead poultry, with one load containing 50 to 200 kilograms. With an average weight of 2 kilograms per chicken, Groen’s calculation comes to 2.7 million birds.
According to Meyrem Almaci, the mortality rate among the animals is high: 6% for chickens and 17% for piglets. “The situation has become so critical that ridiculous mortality rates before slaughter are considered normal,” said Almaci. “That goes against the idea that livestock should be raised in humane conditions.”
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Almaci added that the high mortality rate also costs a lot of money: €7.4 million is spent each year collecting the carcasses. The figures show that “industrial livestock farming is not sustainable” and Groen calls on the regional administration to reform the current agricultural model. This is something that Minister-President of Flanders Jan Jambon is said to have already proposed.
“It is high time that the Jambon government tackled these abuses and ensured an improvement in the welfare of all animals in Flanders”, Almaci concluded.