Festival of Sacrifice: Brussels region ends mobile slaughterhouse
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    Festival of Sacrifice: Brussels region ends mobile slaughterhouse

    © Belga
    The end of the mobile abattoir for the annual Muslim ritual slaughter, in the Brussels region, is upon us.
    © Belga

    The Brussels government decided, during its meeting on Thursday, not to have the mobile slaughterhouse, during the Festival of Sacrifice, from 2017. There will therefore no longer be ritual slaughter (without any form of stunning) next year organised by the Brussels region. Bianca Debaets (of the Flemish Christian Democrats), the Secretary of State for Animal Welfare, indicated this on Thursday.

    In September, a temporary slaughterhouse was organised through a private partnership in the region. Thus the open market was abandoned. The temporary abattoir closed due to its failure.

    The Brussel Minister-President, Rudi Vervoort, then set out the region’s excuses. He did not hide his annoyance in respect of the private operator and implied that this year’s event would be the region’s last.

    According to Mrs Debaets, a dialogue will continue with the Muslim Executive of Belgium and associations on the ground.

    The aim of this is, in particular, to “promote alternatives – increasingly accepted and widespread in Belgium, as well as other countries – such as gifts to the poorest in society.”

    On the other hand, the Brussels government “will clarify, in collaboration with communes and police zones, the prohibition on home-slaughtering and moreover will stress the prohibition on individuals transporting animals themselves.”

    According to the Secretary of State, the decision of the Brussels government is based upon the fact that, in 2016, only 655 individuals requested the slaughter of a sheep in the regional mobile slaughterhouse.

    Demand seems to be decreasing, bearing in mind that, in 2014, some 2,200 sheep were slaughtered.

    Lars Andersen
    The Brussels Times