When Bianca Debaets, Brussels secretary of state in charge of animal welfare, decided to erect temporary slaughtering facilities for the Feast of the Sacrifice in Brussels this year again, she was “breaking the law” in Europe, says Gaia in a press release on Tuesday. The association is threatening to take the matter to court. “European regulations (…) on animal protection during slaughter allows the ritual sacrifice of conscious animals only in approved slaughterhouses and following very strict guidelines,” highlights Gaia. “By allowing the slaughter of sheep without stunning at temporary sites which are not legally authorised, the secretary of state is brushing the law aside,” according to Michel Vandenbosch, president of the organisation. Gaia is threatening to take legal measures if the secretary of state does not revisit her decision.
Bianca Debaets also announced that the religious authorities in charge of these temporary slaughterhouses would follow a mandatory training course on “limiting animal suffering.” The course will be taught by a vet from the Anderlecht slaughterhouses. Gaia regrets “not having been involved in the matter,” and fears the initiative “will be like sticking plaster on a wooden leg.”