Animal welfare: 42 Brussels elected officials reject the ban on slaughter without stunning

The parties of DéFI-Groen-Open Vld had submitted a proposal for an order banning slaughter without stunning. The Brussels Parliament rejected the text on Friday. More specifically, MEPs had to confirm or not the rejection of the proposal. Parliament confirmed with 42 yes, 38 no and 8 abstentions the conclusions of its Environment Committee, which tends to oppose this proposal.

This vote closes the debate on the articles of this proposal and on the amendments, in particular the one that Arnaud Vertstraete (Groen) wanted to defend and who proposed postponing the entry into force of the measure to a year later, a code of animal welfare that the region is still drafting got to.

Scattered voices within the parties

As expected for a few days and during the long debate in plenary, apart from the PTB, no French-speaking group voted as the only man/woman, not even among the co-signatories of the proposal.

In the house of challenge, the rejection of the DéFI-Groen-Open Vld proposal was defeated by six MPs out of ten and accepted by Mehmet Khöksal and Marc Loewenstein. Michaël Vossart and Nicole Bomele abstained.

The other abstentions go to Viviane Teitelbaum (MR); Celine Fremault and Christophe De Beukelaer (Les Engages); Pierre-Yves Lux (Eco); Khadija Zamouri (OpenVld); and Pepijn Kennis (Agora).

In general, the majority voted to reject the proposal hp (14 out of 16). As announced by those interested in the meeting, Julien Uyttendaele and Véronique Jamoulle voted against.

In the Greenthey are five of fifteen who have done as the latter two (group leaders John Pitseys, Ingrid Parmentier, Isabelle Peauthier, Thomas Naessens, Matteo Segers).

The chosen ones PTB all voted to reject the proposal, unlike those of N-VA and MR (aside from Viviane Teitelbaum, who abstained), who spoke out against the rejection.

Among the chosen Vooruit (Flemish Socialists), group leader Fouad Ahidar advocated rejection, much to the chagrin of his party leader Conner Rousseau. The latter announced the expulsion of the interested party from the political office of the party.

A question of animal welfare

Not surprisingly, the three main authors of the proposal, namely Jonathan de Patoul (DéFI), Lotte Stoops (Groen) and Carla Dejonghe (Open Vld), defended the proposal during the debate and at the end of the session.

The former therefore welcomed the fact that Parliament was able to discuss this issue. Like his co-authors, he recalled that the proposal was based on concern for animal welfare. This trained veterinarian added that it was also scientifically based.

For MR, group leader Alexia Bertrand and MEP Aurélie Czekalski stressed that slaughter solutions are now in place to reduce animal suffering while ensuring respect for religions.

Prioritize religious beliefs

If MPs today set aside scientific and legal arguments to prioritize religious beliefs, what will prevent them from doing so again in the future – in other debates? For purely electoral reasons, the Brussels parliament is trampling on the foundations of our secular constitutional state‘ regretted Cieltje Van Achter (N-VA).

A vote against scientific arguments according to Gaia

The animal rights group Gaia has reacted with outrage to the rejection by the Brussels Parliament of the proposal for a regulation that would ban slaughter without stunning. “It is amazing that parliamentarians, with all the scientific arguments at their disposal, deny that the earth is round‘, insulting Ann De Greef, the director of Gaia.

Relocation of meat production?

Conversely, Isabelle Emmery and Martin Casier (PS) pleaded for the rejection of the proposed order. The first particularly emphasized the potential impact on employment, prices and animal welfare of moving slaughter without stunning abroad. Martin Casier judged that the proposal was disproportionate, particularly because it concealed the fact that halal and kosher meat is actually produced abroad and – more expensively – sold in Brussels.

Through Bruno Bauwens, the PTB rejected the proposed ordinance on the grounds that it only referred to the last two minutes of an animal’s life and did not address the inhumane management of the entire life of the 300 million animals a year produced by the capitalist market.

Ecologists Ingrid Parmentier and Ahmed Mouhssin each expressed their views, one in favor of the proposal, the other against.

At the DéFI, Marc Loewenstein emphasized that the production of kosher meat does not condone anesthetics. In his view, while maintaining the objective of protecting animals, it would be necessary to have the wisdom to continue the debate with representatives of religious communities on this issue.highly sensitive and complex“.

Céline Fremault (Les Engagés) attacked the form and turn of the debate more than the content, to denounce the senseless risk-taking represented by the submission of the proposal for a regulation on the cohesion of Brussels society and the majority, and on the divide between the citizen and the political world. In his eyes it should have at least been deepened.

This is also the position of Pepijn Kennis (Agora), who asked for the debate on the profession to be postponed, starting with an advisory commission involving citizens.

In this context, Arnaud Verstraete (Groen) tried in vain to obtain a rejection of the conclusions of the Commission aimed at rejecting the proposal for a regulation and amending it for entry into force one year after the adoption of the Brussels code on animal welfare.

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