Illegal rave party caused significant damage to nature

According to the Flemish Nature and Forest Agency, last weekend's rave party on a military site in Brustem caused significant damage to local flora and fauna.

Agency staff went to the site in Limburg on Monday. Spokesperson Jeroen Denaeghel says there are many signs of damage. For example, scorch marks have been found on protected grassland while badger settlements have been disturbed.

"Someone even used a badger's burrow as a toilet"

"Someone even used a badger's burrow as a toilet. There was toilet paper everywhere," Matthieu Helleputte of the local animal rescue service told De Standaard. The fire brigade had to put out fires on the site on Monday and the nests of acorn mice, a protected species, were also disturbed.

"The music and the crowds will also have affected nesting birds," says Denaeghel. "The skylark, for example, is a ground-nesting bird. So there will undoubtedly have been some on their nests disturbed by the crowd's noise." He also disputes that the ravers left the area tidy. "There was a particularly large amount of rubbish left behind."

Hotline to report damage

Damage is also being reported from outside the military domain. As of today, residents, businesses and farmers near the area can report damage to the city of Sint-Truiden, which has set up a hotline to get an overview of the amount and type of damage.

Around 5,000 people gathered at the site for an illegal rave at around 23.00 on Friday night. Deciding that sending everyone away would be dangerous, security forces allowed the event to continue. The rave attracted up to 10,000 partygoers over the Labour Day long weekend.

"This is a promotion party for drugs and civil disobedience"

"This is not an innocent party. This is a promotion party for drugs and civil disobedience. And we are standing by and watching," said Flemish minister of Justice and Law Enforcement Zuhal Demir (N-VA).

Police and prosecutors are now investigating who organised the event and what offences could be brought. Possession, trading and trespassing on military property could be among the offences.




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