9 September 2004
BRUSSELS – Circus owners and the government have finally thrashed out a deal concerning animals in the Big Top, it was reported on Thursday.
Under the agreement hoofed animals will be banned from circuses and a strict ID system will be introduced for other animals.
They will be given an electric tag and their details recorded in an indestructible register.
In addition, animals must be kept in bigger and can be moved around up to 24 times a year.
On 26 July, the minister responsible for animal welfare, Rudy Demotte, issued a Royal decree that outlawed wild animals from circuses in Belgium.
But the ban was overturned on 3 August after the circus community appealed to Belgium’s most senior constitutional court.
The Conseil d’Etat said the ban was too wide-ranging to be introduced through a royal decree and that the government would have to introduce a new law if it wanted to adopt such a measure.
Since then, circus leaders and Demotte’s ministry have held talks to work out a compromise on the matter.
On Thursday, circus owners were said to be “very satisfied” with the new deal, which will come into force at the end of this year.
[Copyright Expatica 2004]
Subject: Belgian news