Both Wallonia and Flanders require animals to be stunned before slaughter. But in Brussels, the Parliament has just decided: the slaughter can continue to be done without stunning. Has religion won out over politics? The debate was launched on the show It’s not every day on Sunday.
The Brussels region on Friday rejected a text aimed at banning the ritual slaughter of animals without prior stunning, which continues to isolate the capital on this subject compared to Flanders and Wallonia. In the Brussels regional parliament, after several weeks of heated debate, a draft ordinance aimed at banning slaughter without stunning was rejected on Friday. He was opposed by most elected PS and Ecolo.
The association for the defense of animals Gaia judged for its part “incredible” that the Brussels deputies ignore the scientific consensus having established that farm animals suffer much more during slaughter if they have not been stunned at the prior.
You have to see it globally
“As a veterinarian and scientist, there is a consensus: animals that are not stunned before slaughter suffer more. This is unacceptable suffering and a failure for animal welfare.” threw Jonathan de Patoul, d.MP from Brussels – DéFI. “But there are also plenty of other factors that affect the issue of animal welfare. You have to see it in a global way”, justified Marie Lecocq, d.Brussels MP – Ecolo.
The conclusions of the commission tending to the rejection of the text were validated by a narrow majority, by 42 votes “for”, 38 “no” and eight abstentions. Jonathan de Patoul, d.MP from Brussels – DéFI, said he “regrets this vote” and insisted on the importance of reducing animal suffering in slaughterhouses. After this vote, is the Brussels government in danger? Are dissonances on the issue of slaughter a threat? “Nope”clearly answers Jonathan de Patoul.
“There was a majority agreement to say that there was freedom to vote on this subject. We can’t blame it, and I don’t want it. I respect opinions. It’s democracy, she spoke. That does not prevent us from coming back to it in the future”, summed up the deputy.
“Do not stigmatize two communities”
For Alexia Bertrand, cgroup heffe in the Parliament of the Brussels-Capital Region – MR, religion prevailed over politics. “In our party, the line has always been clear: we are the party that has returned the most votes in favor of stunning. It is an issue of animal welfare. Religion has it carried away? Yes I think that there was very strong community pressure in Brussels. At MR, we have always fought against communitarianism and at the same time, we have the greatest respect for all philosophical and religious convictions”, she said. The group leader recalled the conclusions of the Court of Justice of the European Union assuring that there is compatibility between animal welfare and freedom of worship.
For his part, Philippe Markiewicz, president of the Israelite Central Consistory of Belgium, speaks of a “victory for democracy and animal welfare”. “Because Brussels is now aware of this problem. This debate must be analyzed as a whole and not by stigmatizing two communities (…) We do not put Jews and Muslims in a corner”, he estimated.
An important decision also for the slaughterhouses of Anderlecht which notably carry out ritual slaughter (halal and kosher) without any method of stunning. “What is important with the result of this vote is that we can maintain employment. It gives a little stability for a few years”, esteem Paul Thielemans, mmember of the Anderlecht slaughterhouses.