This Wednesday, the Flemish Parliament will be voting on the ban on slaughter without stunning, which will start from 2019 if implemented. The measure does not yet apply to cattle and calves, for which the technique of stunning is not yet fully developed.
The ban was increasingly demanded in Flanders, but political obstacles remained. The Minister for Animal Welfare, Ben Weyts, had therefore appointed a mediator. His report resulted in a political agreement and then a decree adopted by the majority and the opposition, with the exception of the Vlaams Belang.
Beginning in 2019, animals will be slaughtered after being irreversibly stunned, for example via electrical anesthesia.
An exception remains for cattle and calves. Pending a more developed technique, post-cut stunning will remain in effect, i.e. stunning immediately after slaughter.
Slaughterhouses now have a year and a half to adapt their infrastructure and train their staff in these new practices.