23.03.2017 Animal rights association reveals pigs’ mistreatment in Flanders slaughterhouse

The West Flanders Tielt slaughterhouse has closed after a graphic footage was released by the animal welfare organisation, Animal Rights, depicting the mistreatment of its pigs. All activities have been suspended, further to Ben Weyts (Flemish Minister of Animal Welfare N-VA) decision to revoke the slaughterhouse license. The supermarket chain Delhaize has ended all collaboration with the slaughterhouse.

Further information is available here


Gaia wants animal rights written into constitution

Belgium’s animal rights organisation is following in the footsteps of its European neighbours and asking that a number of freedoms for animals be written into Belgium’s constitution.

Gaia pointed out that animals form a very vulnerable category of living creatures with certain welfare needs. “The respect for their dignity and guaranteeing their welfare should be included in the constitution as a fundamental duty of the state,” it said in a statement.

Gaia was inspired by initiatives in neighbouring countries Germany and Luxembourg, where animal rights were included in the constitution in 2002 and 2007, respectively. “So this should not be an insurmountable problem in Belgium either,” said Gaia president Michel Vandenbosch.

Full article and a petition to sign are available in here.


Judgment in Germany: hunting association is not an animal welfare organisation

In the German State North Rhine Westphalia (NRW), a class action has been introduced since 2013 for animal welfare organisations. A hunting association asked the Ministry of environment  to be registered as Animal Welfare Organisation to get the privilege of using the class action in this state. The Ministry did not accept this request and the hunting organization has filed a complained against the Ministry, and there was and administration court case.  

The judge of the administration court in Gelsenkirchen rejected the request of the hunting organization to be registered as an Animal Welfare Organisation. In consequence they have no legal base for using the tool of class action for animal welfare, as this is possible for seven registered AWOs in North Rhine Westphalia.


Comment by Dr Marlene Wartenberg, FOUR PAWS consultant:

The class action is logic legal political consequence of the federal state goal Animal Welfare, based in Art. 20a of the German constitution since 2002. The class action Animal Welfare has been established in the meantime in seven of 16 states of Germany (Baden-Württemberg, Bremen, Hamburg, North Rhine Westphalia, Reinland Pfalz, Saarland, Schleswig Holstein). Six of these states have a red or red and green government, one, Saarland, has a right-left coalition.

In the court case mentioned above we see that also this tool clearly established for the balance and in the interest for the sake of the animals and granting a proper enforcement of the respective AW legislation, by correcting wrong administration decisions against the animals or stating that the decision of an administration is wrong, should be misused here by hunters, but the judgement was very clear.

North Rhine Westphalia has a state government composed by Socialists and Greens. The minister for climate, environment, agriculture, nature conservation and consumer protection is lead by a Green state minister.

The class action of North Rhine Westphalia was established in 2013 and has the broadest scope for AWOs activities and contributions, they have also participation rights e.g. to be heard already during a legislation procedure. NRW is also the state with most registered AWOs: seven. In the other states there are only one or up to three registered, in some states there are common offices of AWOs. There is also a certain diversity of empowerment, however all of them enable the AWOs to do a so called positive or negative declaratory action, and five have also a more far reaching right for rescission (or called action to rescind).  


Denmark outlaws ritual slaughter without stunning

Following Sweden and Poland, last week, Denmark outlawed slaughter without preliminary stunning. The prohibition is applying up from this week on all the Danish territory. Answering to the protest of the jewish and muslim community, Dan Joergensen, Danish Minister and also former MEP said Animal rights come before religion”.

More information on http://www.jpost.com/Jewish-World/Jewish-News/Denmark-outlaws-Jewish-and-Muslim-ritual-slaughter-as-of-next-week-341433


South Dakota (USA): a bill to reunite animal welfare lawyers and farmers

A bill crafted by the State Veterinarian Dustin Oedekoven would make malicious behavior, intentional torture and mutilation of animals a felony, while at the same time excluding accepted livestock-raising practices. This bill is a try to conciliate animal welfare lawyers and breeders, after the reject last year of a bill that sought to make aggravated cruelty to dogs, cats and horses a felony.

More information on http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/local/animal-cruelty-bill-may-unite-animal-rights-advocates-and-livestock/


Virginia (USA): a law allows for citizens to kill any dog caught in the act of killing poultry

A law in Virginia allows for citizens to kill any dog caught in the act of killing or injuring poultry. After the fact, Virginia courts have the power to order animal control officers to kill any dog found to be a “confirmed poultry killer.”

More information on http://www.opposingviews.com/i/society/animal-rights/virginia-law-lets-citizens-kill-dogs-caught-killing-poultry#