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'With such a substantial increase in the penalties for animal cruelty, Flanders is significantly making up for lost time': GAIA’s President Michel Vandenbosch welcomed the Flemish government's decision at the initiative of the Minister of Animal Welfare, Ben Weyts, who announced the measures. GAIA has also insisted on this. Minister Weyts announced much stricter punishments for citizens and companies who mistreat or neglect animals. Animal abusers can be imprisoned for up to 5 years or even 10 years in case of repeat offenders. 'The Minister of Animal Welfare could hardly send an even stronger signal to the judicial authorities and to society as a whole that animal abuse must not be taken lightly', emphasises Michel Vandenbosch.
NEW CAMPAIGN // Deformities, parasites, and high mortality rates: the murky depths of the Scottish salmon industry revealed in new undercover investigationGAIA informs
Between September and November 2020, a large-scale research project involving drones and frogmen was conducted, commissioned by Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) in cooperation with GAIA, at 22 Scottish salmon farms rearing salmon in sea cages on a massive scale. The research reveals an enormous amount of animal suffering: salmon with deformities, diseases, missing eyes, seaweed growing from large open wounds, pieces of flesh and skin eaten away by sea lice, etc.
What is the environmental impact of 1 kilogram of cultivated meat in a commercial production scenario? That question is central to the new study by CE Delft, commissioned by GAIA and The Good Food Institute (GFI). When cultivated meat is produced with renewable energy, the environmental impact is reduced by about 93% compared to beef, by 53% compared to pork and by 29% compared to poultry. “The results are clear,” says Hermes Sanctorum, cultivated meat consultant for GAIA. “If you want to do good for the environment, then you should eat as much plant-based food as possible. If you still want to eat meat, it is best to eat cultivated meat made with green energy: good for the animals and good for the environment. ”
The Court of Justice of the European Union issued their judgment regarding the Flemish ban on unstunned slaughter: the European regulation on the killing of animals (1099/2009) allows member states to impose a ban on unstunned slaughter. The Flemish ban on unstunned slaughter does not violate European law nor the freedom of religion.
- GAIA action
In a new campaign GAIA calls the three regional animal welfare ministers to ban the live cooking and cutting in half of lobsters. “We want lobsters, at the very least, to be stunned before killing so that they do not have to experience pain,” says GAIA chairman Michel Vandenbosch.
- GAIA informs
Today, 10 September 2020, Attorney General Hogan’s Opinion was delivered in the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice in Luxembourg. Michel Vandenbosch and Anthony Godfroid, GAIA’s lawyer, were present. In his Opinion, the Attorney General advises to prohibit stunned slaughter of animals on the conditions that (1) slaughter is carried out in accordance with religious rites and (2) slaughter takes place at an European slaughterhouse.
With its new campaign #kangaroosnotshoes, GAIA asks sportswear manufacturer Adidas to stop selling shoes made from kangaroo leather. To achieve this, GAIA is collaborating with The Center for a Humane Economy, Kangaroos Alive and FAADA. The kangaroo hunt is incredibly cruel. "Brands that use kangaroo leather are therefore complicit in a large-scale and vicious massacre," says GAIA president Michel Vandenbosch.
- GAIA action
88% of house cats in Belgium are sterilised. This is shown by an Ipsos survey carried out for GAIA. “Encouraging figures”, says GAIA director Ann De Greef. “But we mustn’t forget that despite the legal obligation, in Flanders about 160,775 cats still haven’t been sterilised/castrated, in Brussels 302.441 and in Wallonia 1,321,116.
- GAIA informs
88% of house cats in Belgium are sterilised. This is shown by an Ipsos survey carried out for GAIA. “Encouraging figures”, says GAIA director Ann De Greef. “But we mustn’t forget that despite the legal obligation, in Flanders about 160,775 cats still haven’t been sterilised/castrated, according to the survey, in Brussels 302.441 and in Wallonia 1.321.116.
GAIA’S LARGE-FORMAT POSTERS ALONGSIDE FLEMISH ROADS ADVOCATE FOR A BAN ON CAGE SYSTEMS FOR LAYING HENSGAIA action
Since yesterday, the 18th of May, large-format posters were put up alongside Flemish roads. The slogan “En wanneer mogen zij uit hun kot?” (And when will the lockdown end for them?) aims to remind Ben Weyts (N-VA), the Flemish Minister of Animal Welfare, of his promise to impose a ban on cages for laying hens.
GAIA calls upon the WHO to intervene and urge countries worldwide to take drastic measures against wet markets, and trade in bushmeat and wild caught animals.GAIA informs
GAIA’s position is clear: it is, besides an analysis of the effects of COVID-19 on human health and the economy, needed to identify the deeper underlying cause of COVID-19 and tackle it. GAIA finds that the World Health Organisation (WHO), as soon as the tidal wave of contamination dies down, must intervene and urge involved countries worldwide to take drastic measures against wet markets, trade in bushmeat and wild caught animals and live cattle transports to third countries (these live transports may spread animal diseases too).
The list of brands and shops that go Fur Free grows longer and longer. e5 mode and Paprika are recent additions to the list. “Consumers are no longer willing to support the suffering of animals,” says GAIA Director Ann De Greef. “Clothing brands are clearly aware of this and ready to take the step to go Fur Free."
Following a week of targeted activity, GAIA successfully convinced Carrefour Belgium, Makro, Cora, Match and eventually Spar (Colruyt Group) to discontinue the sale of kangaroo meat. “We commend the decisions taken by these supermarket chains. By removing kangaroo meat from their shelves, Carrefour Belgium, Cora, Makro, Match and Spar send an important signal to both the government and consumers: there is no room for kangaroo meat in our supermarkets, declares Ann De Greef, GAIA Director. The time has come for parliamentarians to address the unacceptable kangaroo meat sale and demand that the federal minister of Economic Affairs, Nathalie Muylle (CD&V), bans Belgian imports of kangaroo meat.
Last year, GAIA launched its ‘Save the kangaroos’ campaign. By sharing shocking images and hard facts, the animal rights organisation has already managed to convince several major supermarkets – including Delhaize – to remove kangaroo meat from their shelves. ‘The current forest fires break our hearts’, says GAIA Director, Ann De Greef. ‘Despite everything that’s happened, kangaroos continue to be hunted in Australia. Over the past few days, we’ve done everything in our power to convince the rest of the supermarkets to stop selling kangaroo meat. And it’s paid off. Yesterday, Carrefour Belgium decided to discontinue its sale of kangaroo meat.’ A few days later Cora and Makro followed their decision.
- GAIA action
In October 2019, GAIA field researchers examined the situation at three turkey farms in West Flanders. What they found were distressing situations in an unregulated sector: thousands of turkeys crammed into tight spaces, severely weakened, dying and injured animals, covered in all manner of wounds, turkeys with severely damaged feathers, animals with dead skin on their backs and flanks, carcasses in an advanced state of decomposition, poultry house floors covered with faeces, turkeys smeared with faeces, etc.
- GAIA action
In an open letter to Carrefour Belgium, Carrefour France, Cora and Auchan, Brigitte Bardot condemns the sale of kangaroo meat in their stores. By doing so, the world-renowned actress has aligned herself with GAIA’s ‘Save the kangaroo’ campaign.
- GAIA action
Brigitte Bardot—who celebrated her 85th birthday on 28 September—has received the GAIA Lifetime Achievement Award. The award itself reveals why she is the one to receive it: two open hands lifting up seven animals, including a horse, lamb, and seal. Plus the inscription: ‘And God created the advocate for animals rights’, as a symbol of her tremendous efforts and activities.