New Animal Care & Inspection Center opens at Brussels Airport

By opening the centre, Brussels Airport intends to set the standard on a European level for providing the best level of comfort for animal passengers.

New Animal Care & Inspection Center opens at Brussels Airport

Credit: Brussels Airport

In order to offer the best possible service in the field of animal transport, Brussels Airport (BRU) has invested in a brand new, ultra-modern Animal Care & Inspection Center, in which animals can be housed in the most comfortable surroundings before they continue on their journey. The centre is located in the cargo area of Brussels Airport and began operation on 1 June 2020.

Each year, Brussels Airport has thousands of animals among its many passengers – these include pets, police dogs, reptiles and horses, but also a rare visit by a panda. With this new centre, Brussels Airport intends to set the standard on a European level and ensure that considerable attention is paid to the comfort of animal passengers.

CEO of Brussels Airport, Arnaud Feist, said: “We consider the comfort of all our passengers important, including that of the animals that travel via the airport. That is why we have – in consultation with the competent authorities, experts and our customers – developed this ultra-modern Animal Care & Inspection Center. An animal centre that sets a new standard on a European level in the area of welfare and provides the best possible workplace for the personnel. With this, we ensure that the animals among our passengers are also housed in the very best conditions. A service we are pleased to offer to our customers.”

The centre includes the new border inspection centre for the Federal Agency for Food Safety, which must check any live animal being imported in order to guarantee public health. Brussels Airport has provided, in collaboration with them, all necessary facilities in order to perform the border controls, according to the highest European standards. The employees of the Agency for Food Safety will have offices on the first floor of this new building so that the work can be performed even more efficiently.

When designing the Animal Care & Inspection Center, Brussels Airport went in search of ways to create the best possible conditions for housing the animals. By streamlining the processes, the throughput time will be short, but the animals that have to stay somewhat longer will be housed in optimum conditions.

There is daylight in each animal accommodation in order to not disturb the biological clock of animals passing through. In addition, Brussels Airport is the first to have developed a unique central system which adjusts the light colour, temperature and ventilation for each area in line with the specific needs of each type of animal.

The import and export sides in the building are completely separated from each other in order to ensure that no contamination is possible. The animal accommodations are flexible and can be used by both small and large animal species. On the import side, there are four inspection rooms (one for horses, two multi-functional areas and one cool room for insects),  seven centrally controlled animal accommodations and 10 horse stables. For export, there is no mandatory control. On that side, four multi-functional treatment rooms are provided and three centrally-controlled accommodations.

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