Every year, 30,000 animals are slaughtered in Brussels without sedation

22 December 2021

Over 30,000 cattle, sheep and goats are slaughtered without sedation in Brussels every year. That becomes clear from the response of Brussels Minister of Animal Welfare, Bernard Clerfayt (Défi party), to a question from Cieltje Van Achter (N-VA). Cieltje Van Achter is calling for an urgent ban on unsedated slaughter in Brussels as well, following the example of Flanders and Wallonia. “The Greens and the Socialists seem to have no problem with this cruel method of slaughter,” Cieltje Van Achter said. 

Since 2019, the Anderlecht Abattoir has been the last place in the country where slaughter still occurs without sedation. The figures that Cieltje Van Achter requested show that the bulk of the slaughtering in the Abattoir takes place without sedation. For example, in 2020, half of the total of 16,000 cattle were slaughtered without sedation. For calves, sheep and goats, that figure rises even further to 9 out of 10 calves and 7 out of 10 sheep and goats, respectively. That translates into almost 5,000 calves and 18,000 goats and sheep slaughtered without prior sedation. 

Cruel method of slaughter

Yet the Brussels government does not seem to want to put an end to this practice. The competent minister Bernard Clerfayt says that it has not been possible to reach a consensus within the government. Cieltje Van Achter refers to the proposal for an ordinance that the N-VA already submitted in 2017 and calls on parliament to do the necessary itself. “Without an explicit ban, massive numbers of animals are slaughtered in a cruel manner. But that doesn’t seem to bother the Greens and the Socialists. The PS, Ecolo and Vooruit parties have been opposing a Brussels ban on slaughter without sedation for years now and avoid any discussion about it.”

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