Live elections | Sammy Mahdi: “The Municipal Fund must evolve from NV A(ntwerpen) to NV Vlaanderen”

Live elections | Sammy Mahdi: “The Municipal Fund must evolve from NV A(ntwerpen) to NV Vlaanderen”
Live elections | Sammy Mahdi: “The Municipal Fund must evolve from NV A(ntwerpen) to NV Vlaanderen”
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Animal welfare is written into the constitution

The plenary meeting of the Chamber approved by a two-thirds majority on Thursday night a proposal to include animal welfare in the constitution. An amendment from N-VA must ensure that this remains largely symbolic.

The proposal includes the protection of animals in Article 7a of the Constitution and literally reads: “In the exercise of their respective powers, the federal state, the communities and the regions shall strive to protect and care for animals as sentient beings.”

The Senate previously gave the green light for this constitutional amendment, after which the House Constitution Committee followed suit. CD&V and Open VLD then abstained, the rest – except one PS member – voted in favor.

But Open VLD and CD&V have now changed their attitude. Both factions voted against on Thursday night. The liberals fear that permits for agricultural companies, for example, would be at risk, but also that there would be legal consequences for hunters, fishermen or livestock markets.

Because Vlaams Belang and N-VA abstained, the resistance of CD&V and Open VLD could not prevent the two-thirds majority. Ultimately, 70 MPs agreed to the text, 23 voted against and 29 abstained.

By rejecting an amendment by N-VA MP Sander Loones, the House made it explicitly clear that judges are not intended to interpret the new constitutional provision as a ‘standstill obligation’, which means that the government cannot lower the level of animal protection and the permit policy may be compromised. The legal consequences of the constitutional amendment may therefore remain limited.

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Live elections Sammy Mahdi Municipal Fund evolve Antwerpen Vlaanderen

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