On October 3, 2018, the Parliament of Wallonia adopted the Walloon Code of Animal Welfare that emerges to be the most progressive law in the world for animal welfare.
The Code covers 12 Chapters and 109 articles. It declares animals are sensitive beings. A permit will be required to own animals but it could be withdrawn by an administrative or judicial decision.
The Code prohibits several practices: to keep animals permanently tethered, including cetaceans and other species; to organize fights between animals; to shoot on birds for sport, fairground pony rides; circuses with wild animals except domestic ones; the use of battery cages for laying hens as well as for any other animal; to excite the ferocity of an animal; to impose on animals tasks that surpass their natural capacity; to blind singing birds; to send by mail an animal, etc.
The Code establishes stricter regulations for animal experimentation and only allows procedures with animals for the purposes of human and animal health, it limits the duration of transport of live animals to slaughterhouses to 8 hours; it prohibits minors to own animals and makes mandatory close circuit television (CCTV) in all slaughterhouses to control the compliance of animal welfare rules during slaughter.
As a coercive measure, the new lay provides penalties up to 10-15 years imprisonment and fines up to 10 million euros.