Since July 1, a permit is now mandatory to be able to acquire a pet. For Michel Vandenbosch, president of Gaia, this shows that “animal suffering is no longer ridiculed”. Next step: recognize in the Constitution the status of animals as sentient beings.
The tireless defender of the animal cause measures the progress made over the last thirty years in raising awareness of animal sensitivity and suffering. But it needs to be done.
Is it a big step to show a white paw to acquire a pet?
It is without a doubt one positive action and its opponents would rather refrain from criticizing it in interests other than the name of animal welfare. It is argued that this will demotivate people from adopting a pet, we naturally sought to ridicule this possession permit because it would also apply to goldfish as if they were not living beings at full share. The fact is that the introduction of this permit is welcomed by shelters, animal welfare associations and the serious animal sector. It will be necessary to wait for the comparison of the measurement with reality on earth before proceeding to its evaluation and any corrections. You need to allow time for others to materialize.
Thirty years ago, when a Member of Parliament asked a question about animal suffering, his intervention was met with meowing or barking.
Will the obligation to present a “certificate of non-animal cruelty” not show its limits in terms of controls and sanctions and bring happiness or wealth to secret channels of acquisition?
It is the fate of any legal action to risk being circumvented, no one is ever perfect. But one must see it as a means of pressure, of social control. Animal welfare associations will certainly receive complaints if a seller does not comply with his obligations. Without being a miracle solution, it is a necessary step forward that will always meet people in bad faith. But if we do not try something, the situation will never get better. Exit decisions made on a whim or straight emotionwithout asking the question of whether we can guarantee a quality of life for one animals, this is progress to be welcomed.
How is the animal welfare case today?
She has made great strides, without the shadow of a doubt. I have been on the go for almost forty years and Gaia has been around for thirty years. Since 1992, the situation has changed significantly. Belgians, from north to south via the center of the country, have become more sensitive to animal suffering. ONE really positive dynamics was created, especially under the influence of campaigns carried out by animal rights organizations such as ours. Prohibition of the use of wild animals in circuses and ponies in rides, ban on the breeding of fur animals in the country’s three regions, with the consequence that Belgium will be exempt from fur factories by 2023 at the latest. The importance of animal welfare is now recognized at all levels of society, including politics, the judiciary and business. We even have, unique in the world, three ministers regions which, in their own law, have jurisdiction over animal welfare. Thirty years ago, when a deputy dared to ask a question about animal suffering, his intervention was met in the half cycle of meowing, bark, growls. Today, the theme is no longer ridiculed.
What should the next step be for animals?
Have the status of the animal recognized in the Constitution as a sentient being, endowed with personal interests and dignity, which deserves special protection in this regard. The Brussels region has adopted a general law on animal welfare, but we have just seen the use made of it in the regional parliament, where the ban on ritual slaughter of sheep without prior compulsory stunning was rejected by just four votes. . When the party crate and it election communitarianism considered more important than the suffering inflicted on thousands of slaughtered animals, despite scientific factswe must tell ourselves that we can and must do better.