Wednesday, January 21, 2015 — The animal rights organisation GAIA staged a happening this afternoon before the Walloon Parliament to show its appreciation to the Walloon Government for its adoption of a proposed law banning fur farming in Wallonia. A delegation from GAIA presented a life-size chocolate mink, especially custom-made for the occasion, to the Minister for Animal Welfare, Carlo Di Antonio, the initiator of this decree. GAIA also gave mink-shaped chocolates to the MPs present.
An IPSOS survey conducted in 2012 at the request of GAIA revealed that nearly 9 out of 10 Belgians (88% of Walloons) are in favor of a legal ban on fur farming, saying there is no justification to kill animals for their fur. This initiative therefore meets the high expectations of citizens for animal protection and animal welfare.
"This is an historic moment. The draft decree is born of a resounding consensus within the Walloon Parliament since it was adopted unanimously," said Michel Vandenbosch, President of GAIA.
"This is a decisive step towards a total ban on fur farms in Belgium, where more than 150,000 minks are still detained in appalling conditions and slaughtered just for their fur. The animals are kept in cramped cages of only 30x80x30 cm, with many animals showing signs of neurosis related to confinement, resulting in repetitive, aggressive behavior or self-mutilation," he added.
All of these facilities (17 in total at present) are in Flanders. The Flemish Minister for Animal Welfare, Ben Weyts, has however decided to prohibit establishment of new fur farms, or any expansion whatsoever of existing farms. GAIA urges Flanders to follow the good example of Wallonia and the Brussels-Capital Region, where fur farms are now banned, and put an end to existing Flemish fur farms.