Belgium moves to recognize animal rights in the constitution

Animal News: Belgium moves to recognize animal rights in the constitution

The chamber of representatives’ constitutional committee in Belgium has given the green light to include animal rights in the constitution.

The initiative, led by parliamentarian Kristof Calvo, marks a significant milestone in the improvement of animal welfare in the country. “Animals are important in our society. Now, we fully recognize them as living beings with feelings,” Calvo said.

The proposal received unanimous support, with only three abstentions.

The amendment will be added to Article 7bis of the constitution, stating, “In the exercise of their respective powers, the federal state, the communities, and the regions aim to protect and care for animals as sentient beings.”

The proposal has already been approved by the Senate and is now ready for its final endorsement in the Chamber’s plenary session. A two-thirds majority is required for the amendment to be approved. “Changing the constitution is not easy and is a lengthy process,” Calvo said.

“There is no doubt that including animals in the constitution is a legitimate response to the widely supported societal demand for increasingly better protection of animals in our society,” Michel Vandenbosch, chairman of the Belgian animal rights organization Gaia, said.

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