Sunday, 20 September 2015
The Animal Rights Defense Association GAIA revealed it had submitted an official complaint to the Brussels Prosecutor’s Office, in a press release on Sunday. It aims to “stop sheep being slaughtered in the temporary abattoirs in the Brussels region set up for the Sacrifice festival, where they are not stunned first”. The GAIA president Michel Vandenbosch thinks this practice is “totally illegal”.
The association claims the State Secretary for Animal Welfare, Bianca Debaets, acted illegally by allowing temporary abattoirs. “The Brussels government is clearly allowing animals to suffer, as no less than 124,000 euros was set aside to set up temporary abattoirs, where animals are slaughtered without being stunned first. These animals are the victims of lax policies”, says Johan Verstraeten, GAIA’s lawyer.
The association also mentioned last week’s ruling by the Brussels Court of First Instance, during a case brought by several Muslim organisations. The judge said a temporary abattoir could not meet hygiene and public health requirements, like registered permanent abattoirs.
GAIA will send a letter to Muslim Belgians over the next few days, to explain its position. “We are not campaigning against religious traditions, but against the suffering to animals they cause”, says Michel Vandenbosch.