“Animals suffer just as much in different regions”

The Environment Commission of the Brussels Parliament has just rejected the proposal for a decree banning slaughter without stunning. Will Brussels be the only Belgian region to allow slaughter without anesthesia, a practice banned in Flanders and Wallonia?

Laid on the table by the majority partners DéFI, Groen and Open VLD, the proposal was rejected by 6 votes to 6, with 3 abstentions. PS and Vooruit, members of the majority, do not support the proposal. Ditto in opposition to PTB.

However, the proposal returns to the table in plenary on 17 June., first in the form of a vote on the conclusions of the committee which tends to reject the proposal. However, in the event of rejection of these conclusions, the debate on the whole proposal will be reopened at the meeting, which is far from ruled out.

As announced, Vlaams Belang withdrew its proposal to avoid the cordon sanitaire being invoked against it for not supporting the proposal of a majority of the majority (DéFI-Groen-Open Vld) in favor of the ban. At the end of the session, Cieltje Van Achter (N-VA) also withdrew her.

A file that splits

In Brussels, the file shares the majority partners. At the end of January, Défi, Groen and Open Vld put forward a proposal for an executive order in the regional parliament, which aims to impose slaughter with prior anesthesia, even for religious rituals. Initially, the Brussels PS had not ruled out leaving the freedom of vote to its deputies. During a group meeting attended in particular by the President of the Brussels Federation Ahmed Laaouej, it was finally decided to vote against the text, while the PS voted in favor in Wallonia.

Asked about La Première, Ahmed Laaouej, chairman of the PS group in the hall, believes that the problem of animal suffering is much more general than ritual slaughter without anesthesia: “There are animal diseases in the fishing industry or in the hunt for game. It is not because they in Wallonia may have been a little hasty that we should do the same in Brussels. We want a peaceful dialogue, and not an approach that creates a kind of social fracture ”in relation to ritual slaughter, he says.

“The Socialists in Brussels resolutely choose animal suffering”

An “incomprehensible” decision has already reacted to the N-VA, which itself submitted to the parliament of the Brussels Capital Region a draft executive order aimed at banning slaughter without stunning. “The position of the Brussels PS to prevent the obligation to slaughter with anesthesia is incomprehensible. Thus, the Socialists in Brussels are resolutely choosing animal suffering “, the Nationalist Party emphasizes in a response sent to the Belga Agency.

“The masks fall when it comes to animal protection. Text rejected “, emphasizes for his part on Twitter, the deputy Mr. Aurélie Czekalski. “Animal suffering is not variable,” adds MP Alexia Bertrand (MR).

On the CD&V side, we are finally also surprised by the socialist stance. “I am very surprised that the PS decides to bury a proposal from three majority partners, even before the start of the parliamentary debate. It’s really a fun way to conduct politics, ”said Bianca Debaets, a Member of the Brussels Parliament and former Foreign Minister for Animal Welfare. ” It has long been known that there are alternative methods, accepted by many believers. And a few months ago, the European Court of Justice ruled that this ban on ritual slaughter was not in violation of religious freedom. Out of respect for animal welfare, it is now time that we move forward in this matter once and for all instead of sticking to ancestral and painful practices, ”she concludes.

According to information from the daily newspaper De Standaard, Lotte Stoops (Groen) emphasizes that the balance between religious freedom and animal welfare must not be upset: Stunned slaughter will save thousands of animal suffering. “Those who say this text is a ban on halal are wrong,” she told the committee. She points out that Flemish and Walloon legislation already prohibits slaughter without stunning, and that Brussels should be no exception: animals suffer in the same way in the different regions.

“The outcome of this debate will show whether the Brussels region will become a separate country, where short-term and electoral considerations take precedence over universal and progressive principles,” wrote François De Smet, chairman of Défi, in a white card published by Le Vif. “We – supporters of the fantastic demand, all parties together – have science, the law and 70% of the people of Brussels on our side, including many Jewish and Muslim citizens,” he stressed.

“Unacceptable from an animal welfare point of view”

Not surprisingly, the animal rights organization Gaia condemns the result of the vote. She means that” the members of the Committee on the Environment and Animal Welfare do not respect the judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union and the Belgian Constitutional Court; and has not followed the advice of various veterinary associations as well as the scientific reports, which are very clear: slaughter without anesthesia is in any case unacceptable from an animal welfare point of view ”.

Leave a Comment