Festival of Sacrifice: Brussels region ends mobile slaughterhouse

The Brussels government decided, during its meeting on Thursday, not to have the mobile slaughterhouse, during the Festival of Sacrifice, from 2017.

There will therefore no longer be ritual slaughter (without any form of stunning) next year organised by the Brussels region. Bianca Debaets (of the Flemish Christian Democrats), the Secretary of State for Animal Welfare, indicated this on Thursday.

In September, a temporary slaughterhouse was organised through a private partnership in the region. Thus the open market was abandoned. The temporary abattoir closed due to its failure.

The Brussel Minister-President, Rudi Vervoort, then set out the region’s excuses. He did not hide his annoyance in respect of the private operator and implied that this year’s event would be the region’s last.

According to Mrs Debaets, a dialogue will continue with the Muslim Executive of Belgium and associations on the ground.

The aim of this is, in particular, to “promote alternatives – increasingly accepted and widespread in Belgium, as well as other countries – such as gifts to the poorest in society.”

On the other hand, the Brussels government “will clarify, in collaboration with communes and police zones, the prohibition on home-slaughtering and moreover will stress the prohibition on individuals transporting animals themselves.”

According to the Secretary of State, the decision of the Brussels government is based upon the fact that, in 2016, only 655 individuals requested the slaughter of a sheep in the regional mobile slaughterhouse.

Demand seems to be decreasing, bearing in mind that, in 2014, some 2,200 sheep were slaughtered.

The author: Michel DEURINCK

Michel Deurinck, born in Brussels in 1950, started his career in the Belgian civil service, dedicating over 30 years to public service. Upon retirement, he pursued his passion for journalism. Transitioning into this new field, he quickly gained recognition for his insightful reporting on politics and culture. Deurinck's balanced and thoughtful approach to journalism has made him a respected figure in Belgian media.

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