Fewer animals in Flemish shelters last year


There are far fewer animals in shelters in Flanders, which is based, says animal welfare minister Ben Weyts on a strong policy, particularly the requirement to sterilise kittens before they are sold or given away

Chips helping

The number of animals in Flemish shelters went down in 2014 by 14% compared to 2013 – from 36,358 to 31,439 animals, according to figures from the government of Flanders. The number of dogs taken in dropped by even more: by 27% from 11,218 to 8,179. The number of animals that had to be euthanised also fell dramatically, by 35% to 241.

Ben Weyts, Flanders’ first minister for animal welfare, attributed the lower numbers to “a strong animal welfare policy”. In particular, the fall in the figures for cats was, he said, a result of his Kattenplan, which came into force last year. That plan makes it obligatory for anyone selling kittens to have them sterilised and fitted with an identity chip. “That has brought down the number of stray cats, and the number of cases of euthanasia,” Weyts said.

And the minister made an appeal to anyone thinking about getting a new pet. “Go and take a look in a shelter,” he said. “Maybe you can give some poor animal a new home. We took a nice cat from the shelter, and it’s turned out to be a fantastic family friend.”

Photo by Jocelyn Augostino/Wikimedia