GAIA’s surprise action against slaughter without stunning at the so-called “modular” slaughterhouse in Brussels set up for the Feast of Sacrifice
The animal rights organisation GAIA carried out a surprise action during the afternoon of September 12th before the "modular" slaughterhouse set up by the Brussels Capital region on the occasion of this year’s Muslim Feast of Sacrifice, near the Mabru morning market, at 95 Quai des Usines. GAIA’s objective was to condemn the illegal slaughter without stunning in this temporary slaughterhouse, where the animals were subjected to severe and prolonged suffering.
The key point of the action was when an advertising truck pulled up at the slaughter site, bearing a message calling for mercy from the faithful gathered there, by means of a panel showing a sheep crying bloody tears. At the same time, GAIA militants brandished signs reading “SORRY.” “We beg forgiveness from those animals slaughtered here, without prior stunning, for all the suffering inflicted on them,” explained Michel Vandenbosch, President of GAIA. “We ask forgiveness too in the name of those persons, including politicians, with the blood of these animals on their hands, who stubbornly refuse to change archaic religious practices to conform with modern scientific and ethical standards of animal welfare.”
“The so-called “modular” slaughterhouse remains a temporary site, no matter how the Brussels Region decides to call it,” emphasized Michel Vandenbosch. “It’s impossible to meet all the legal requirements in such a facility, invented by politicians to facilitate slaughter without stunning, which is nevertheless prohibited outside of certified slaughterhouses which meet legal requirements.” He insists, “This is why we issued formal notice to Bianca Debaets who, in her position as Brussels Vice-Minister for animal welfare, represents the government of the Region, which has deliberately set up this ploy to circumvent the law – what’s more, such a facility is entirely paid for by the taxpayer, to the tune of 225 000 €.” As revealed in a recent IPSOS survey (published in August 2016) at GAIA’s request, 76% of Brussels residents want a ban on slaughter without stunning, and 14% of Brussels voters declare they would vote for another party if their preferred party opposed such a ban!
Prevent all avoidable pain or suffering
GAIA reiterates that it is calling for mandatory stunning of animals before each slaughter, throughout the year, including in certified slaughterhouses. “Our primary objective is to prevent this entirely avoidable suffering,” says Michel Vandenbosch. “In Belgium it seems that the powers that be prefer to push this thorny issue to the background, by means of technical and religious nit-picking, political manoeuvrings and power games. It’s really unfortunate,” he concludes.