Minister Carlo Di Antonio announced new regulations regarding sales and donations of animals online. The minister also announced a new status for the animals in the Civil Code.
From the 1st of June, it is compulsory to go through an authorized institution or a shelter to acquire an animal. Indeed, a new measure prohibits selling or giving an animal via the Internet and social networks. Carlo Di Antonio, Walloon minister responsible for animal welfare, explains that social networks promotes the impulsive acquisition of animals and subsequently multiplies abandonments. The objective of this measure is also to avoid trafficking with animals: there are, in particular, many puppies coming from the Eastern countries, which are resold on the Internet generating large sums of money. The aim of this new legislation is to prevent this kind of situation.
Advertising on the sale of animals is therefore prohibited on all media, whether online or in traditional newspapers. Only specialized magazines and websites have the right to publicize the selling of animals, respecting animal welfare conditions "the identification number will have to be visible, together with the status of the animal," says Carlo Di Antonio, specifying that the first option should be "to go to a shelter".
Creation of a status for animals in the Civil Code.
The other new measure concerns the creation of a status for animals in the Civil Code. So far the Civil Code contained only two categories: property and persons. Animals were considered property, which was a problem in a whole series of legislation. It is for this reason that the new status of "sentient being” has been created. This status confers special rights for animals and a stronger legal basis for judges when they have to make decisions, for example in cases of animal cruelty.