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A petition on Care2 is calling for the Belgian government to take action against an exporter of live animals after an unimaginable show of animal cruelty resulted in Belgian firefighters gassing 20,000 chicks on the tarmac at Brussels airport.

The chicks were suffocating in an overheating cargo container after the flight they were due to board was canceled for technical reasons. Airport firefighters refused to take part in the cull recognizing this barbaric act for what it is, which resulted in the call to local firefighters in Zaventum to euthanize the chicks and end their suffering. This involved sealing the container and pumping carbon dioxide inside.

Dierenwelzijn Vlaanderen, the agency in charge of animal welfare in Belgium’s Flemish region, reported that the chicks had no water and no food. Brigitte Borgmans said, “on Sunday evening, a number of chicks were already dead, so we suggested the exporter take back the container, but they refused. We sent a veterinarian to the scene and he decided to euthanize the animals in order to shorten their suffering.”

These efforts have been severely criticized by Flemish MPs. Independent Hermes Sanctorum, an animal welfare campaigner, said, “we have gone so far that killing is the most animal-friendly solution during transport. There’s no difference between Amazon parcels and animals.” Green party lawmaker Bart Caron said, “the exporter must be held accountable, maybe the airport as well.”

Chickens are friendly animals that many take on as pets, and are so much more than a source of food. The conditions for those chicks inside that container are unimaginable. We all know how uncomfortable it is being stuck in an enclosed space when the weather is hot; to be crammed together in such a tight space must have been terrifying for these poor defenseless animals.

The IATA’s Live Animals Regulations (LAR) is the worldwide standard for animal care while in transport. The objective of the LAR is to ensure all animals are transported safely and humanely by air; clearly this standard, in force since 2016, has not been adhered to.

Please sign the petition for the Belgian government to take action against this cruel exporter and ensure nothing like this ever happens again.

Buzz Petition

Image source:  Designer Vietnam/Unsplash

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