28 March 2007
BRUSSELS – Dogs and cats may no longer be kept on display in pet shops starting in 2009. The parliamentary committee on public health decided this on Wednesday. The Flemish Christian democrats (CD&V) and nationalist party Vlaams Belang voted against the measure.
The majority agreed to a compromise after consultation with the sector. The original bill imposed a ban on all sales of dogs and cats in pet shops. Several weeks ago the committee approved this unanimously but took a step back after fierce protest from the sector.
The ban on the physical presence of dogs and cats in shops will remain in the bill, but the shops will be allowed to continue to sell these animals via catalogues. They can act as brokers in the sale of the animals or can operate a nursery themselves.
The majority also agreed to give the shop more time to adapt to the new regulations. The law will not come into effect until 2009. The government has promised a ministerial decree in the meantime to support the sector as much as possible in the changeover.
The ban is aimed at combating the impulse buying of animals and the widespread abandoning of dogs.
[Copyright Expatica News 2007]
Subject: Belgian news