Factual Background Under the Belgian Animal Health Act 1987 (the “1987 Act”), compulsory charges were levied on slaughterhouses. These charges were subsequently used to finance animal welfare measures that improve the hygiene, health and quality of life of animals. This scheme had, however, never been notified to the European Commission despite the obligation to do so set out in Article 88(3) EC Treaty. In 1991, the European Commission found this scheme to be in breach of the State aid rules. In order to remedy this breach, the Belgium government decided to establish a fund for the hygiene, health and quality of life of animals.
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