Les ministres du bien-être animal coupent le gâteu
12 December 2022
Ecran de projection - GAIA 30 ans

1,500 people paid homage to the thirty-year fight on behalf of animals

GAIA 30 ANS - Evènement

On 23 October, GAIA celebrated its thirtieth anniversary at Heysel. Nearly 1,500 members of the GAIA family came to attend this unforgettable event that certainly left an impression. It was an opportunity to review the long-fought battle to defend animals.

Several notable guests were present at this occasion:

• Reineke Hameleers, CEO of Eurogroup for Animals and Luckas Vander Taelen, influencer, singer, journalist and television personality
• Prince Laurent, our guest of honour
• the three ministers for animal welfare: Bernard Clerfayt for the Brussels-Capital Region, Céline Tellier for Wallonia and Ben Weyts for Flanders.

Reineke Hameleers, CEO de Eurogroup for Animals et Luckas Vander Taelen, influenceur, chanteur, journaliste, homme de télévision
Reineke Hameleers and Luckas Vander Taelen
Les 3 ministres du bien-être animal : Bernard Clerfayt (DéFI) pour le Région de Bruxelles-Capitale , Céline Tellier (Ecolo) pour la Wallonie et Ben Weyts (N-VA) pour la Flandre.
the three ministers for animal welfare : Bernard Clerfayt fn, Céline Tellier for Wallonia and Ben Weyts.

A few excerpts from Michel Vandenbosch’s speech

Michel Vandenbosch, président de GAIA, fait son discours
Michel Vandenbosch, président de GAIA.

“As we can see, a lot has been done but there is still so much to do. ‘It always seems impossible, until it is done,’ said Nelson Mandela. This is precisely GAIA’s guiding principle. We will adopt the virtues of Samurai warriors to defend animals: wisdom, courage, combativeness, self-control, willingness, perseverance and confidence in our abilities. But also the hope for a life that animals deserve!

Therefore, these are our main upcoming struggles :

  1. Animals must be included in the Constitution to benefit from constitutional protection.
  2. All cage systems for egg-laying hens must disappear in Flanders.
  3. Abolishing the surgical castration of piglets, which is painful and unnecessary mutilation.
  4. Continuing the fight against cattle transport.
  5. Banning shredding and gassing millions of male chicks who are considered to be useless because they don’t lay eggs.
  6. Banning slaughter without stunning in the Brussels-Capital Region.
  7. The appointment of a European commissioner in charge of animal welfare.
  8. Upholding bans on slaughter without stunning approved by the EU Court of Justice and the Belgian Constitutional Court in Wallonia and Flanders, which are being challenged by the Jewish and Muslim religious lobbies.
  9. Upholding a new Flemish decree which provides for prison sentences of up to five years, and fines of up to €800,000 and the closure of business activities for those who mistreat animals, which slaughterhouses and puppy importers are trying to overturn.
  10. A transition to scientific and medical research without animals and from slaughtered meat to meat grown without animal suffering.
  11. Raising awareness of the compulsory sterilisation of cats and the reduction of VAT from 21% to 6% on veterinary treatment.
  12. Banning force-feeding for foie gras in Wallonia.
  13. Banning fireworks that kill animals each year at Christmas and on New Year’s Eve.

By leading these fights, we will continue to devote ourselves body and soul to the cause we hold dear: making animals ‘someone’ and not ‘something’ in people’s hearts, minds and behaviour. This is not just a challenge, it’s a Gargantuan task - a lifetime’s work.

Thank you to all of you who support us in this process. You give us the strength to persevere, to not lose our fighting spirit and to keep hope. You give us the fuel we need to continue our fight. Together, we are so much stronger.”

Standing ovation du public


The celebration ended with a standing ovation for Michel Vandenbosch and Ann De Greef, the GAIA founders, and with the three ministers of animal welfare cutting a vegan birthday cake.

Les ministres coupent le gâteau avec Michel Vandenbosch et Ann De Greef
Les Ministres du bien-être animal coupent le gâteau avec Michel Vandenbosch et Ann De Greef.