Dozens of animal-rights groups have urged Brussels authorities to ban the non-stunned killings of animals in slaughterhouses as the Mulsim Feast of Sacrifice approaches.
An open letter calls for government and members of the regional parliament in Brussels to put in place obligatory and “appropriate measures” to limit the suffering of animals who will be sacrificed, according to BX1.
The letter was signed by 17 groups in total, including animal-rights NGO Gaia and a union of veterinarians.
“Mandatory stunning is the only way to rid animals of severe and prolonged suffering that are as useless as they are technically avoidable,” Gaia president Michel Vandenbosch told the outlet.
“It is essential that elected officials in Brussels are made aware of this and that they prove that they take animal welfare seriously,” he added.
The letter comes as members of the Islamic faith prepare to celebrate Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of Sacrifice, a four-day holiday which is set to take place this year around August 11.
The signatories call out the new government of the Brussels-Capital Region for failing to address the issue, citing the case of an Anderlecht slaughterhouse which continues to kill animals without stunning them first, according to the outlet.
In Flanders and Wallonia, authorities approved a ban on all non-stunned killings that came into effect at the start of the year in Flanders and will be implemented in September in its French-speaking counterpart.
The measure was contested by several Jewish and Muslim organisations, according to the outlet, which said had brought the case before the Constitutional Court.