Share article:
Share article:

Peru says wanted cat Lee is ‘welcome’ to return

Peruvian authorities have said that they are willing to take back a cat that risks being euthanised after an Antwerp student flew it into Belgium illegally.

In an email to animal rights group GAIA, Peru’s Senasa, the equivalent to Belgium’s food safety agency AFSCA, said that they had “never refused the entry of the cat” back into Peru.

Related News:

 

“In this regard, I confirm that it is feasible for the cat to return to Peru,” Senasa’s national director wrote in the email, of which the animal rights group shared a screenshot alongside a press release.

The agency also doubled down on their message on Twitter, writing that “Lee was welcome in Peru” provided that he had “all the vaccines that guarantee his health.”

The cat’s entry into Belgium in April drew nationwide attention after AFSCA said the cat needed to be put to sleep because its owner, Antwerp student Selena Ali, had brought it into the country without following the mandatory procedures.

AFSCA said that allowing the cat to remain in Belgium would be dangerous because Peru was a high-risk country for rabies, and that the animal’s history was not clear enough to ensure it was rabies-free.

In the email, Senasa said that the cat could indeed return provided a certificate of health issued by Belgian authorities was presented. Alternatively, a vaccination certificate issued by a Peruvian vet could also be accepted by Senasa.

Senasa’s boss also that there had been an “apparent misunderstanding” between the agency and its Belgian counterpart, who had previously said that the cat’s return was denied by Peruvian authorities.

Last week, AFSCA said that officials in Peru had refused to allow the animal to return, removing the last hope to avoid euthanasia.

AFSCA, which is competent for the control of animal illnesses, said that the cat’s owner had been “irresponsible” in bringing it into the country without the appropriate documentation.

As the events unfolded, regional and federal authorities jumped into the debate as Ali attempted to gather public support through an online petition.

But while animal rights association has celebrated Senasa’s latest move, in a press release issued on 28 May AFSCA said producing a health certificate was impossible.

“To send a cat to a third country, an official health certificate is required,” the agency wrote. “Since the cat was imported illegally and without the necessary official documents from Peru, such a certificate cannot be issued.”

A spokesperson for AFSCA told HLN that, before making a new move, the agency was waiting for an Antwerp court to deliver a judgement regarding the cat’s fate.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Over 50,000 march against fascism in Rome
Tens of thousands of people demonstrated against fascism in Rome on Saturday, one week after violent protests against the Covid certificate. Over ...
Will Brussels bounce back?
The lockdowns have tested the city and forced it to confront key questions about its future. Derek Blyth looks back at an extraordinary moment in our ...
Vaccinations: Belgium’s Health Minister currently not in favour of a general booster shot
The latest figures on new coronavirus cases are worrying, but rather than imposing new safety measures, what is needed is full compliance with ...
Thousands protest against the Covid health pass in France
Demonstrations against the health pass and other measures aimed at preventing the spread of the Coronavirus mobilised tens of thousands of protesters ...
Record-breaking 770-metre highline installed in Freÿr, Belgium
A 770-metre long highline was installed at an altitude of 70 metres at the Freÿr Rocks on Saturday, setting a new Belgian record, according to ...
Huge cannabis farm discovered inside closed down Chinese restaurant near Charleroi
A cannabis plantation with several hundred mature plants was dismantled on Friday evening in a former Chinese restaurant on Chaussée de Bruxelles ...
Citizen founded wind turbine project launched in Liège region
A citizen founded wind turbine project was inaugurated in the Liège Region on Saturday by Walloon Energy Minister Philippe Henry (Ecolo) together ...
Five questions to philosopher Philippe Van Parijs on Leopold II and embarrassment in Brussels’ public space
The worldwide explosion of the Black Lives Matter movement in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, combined with the 60th anniversary of the ...
Belgium to invest in sustainable heating in 2022
The federal government will set aside about one million euros in its 2022 budget for a social tariff for sustainable heating, Federal Energy Minister ...
Unfinished draft of new Astérix story discovered
The discovery of the unfinished draft of a cartoon album on the most famous of all Gauls, sketched by cartoonist René Goscinny, was announced by his ...
Anti-vaxxers demonstrate against Covid Safe Ticket in Brussels
Hundreds of supporters of the anti-vaxx movement gathered on Saturday outside the headquarters of the Pfizer pharmaceutical company to protest ...
Belgium’s investment funds total 260 billion euros in assets
Belgium’s funds industry grew by 5.3% (13 billion euros) in the second quarter of this year, bringing investment funds available to the public to ...