Animal shelters can remain open during lockdown, says Minister
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Animal shelters can remain open during lockdown, says Minister

Credit: Belga

Contrary to what is stated on Belgium’s government’s info-coronavirus.be website, animal shelters and salons are allowed to remain open during the lockdown, according to Flemish Animal Welfare Minister Ben Weyts.

The new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) of the federal government states that animal salons must close, and that animal shelters are “are not open to the public” but that shelter and essential care of animals is crucial, and therefore permitted.

However, this goes against the most recent Ministerial Decree, which explicitly states that “veterinarians, pet food shops, animal care services and animal shelters may remain open,” according to Weyts.

If animal shelters are no longer allowed to be open to the public, then adoptions cannot go ahead and the shelters will get into trouble. Additionally, some animals need the specialised care of grooming establishments for their welfare, according to Weyts.

“I suspect that the Federal Public Service erroneously copied the FAQ of the first lockdown, as far as animal shelters and salons are concerned,” he told the Belga press agency. “I am trying to have this rectified.”

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times