Belgium gasses 20,000 chicks stuck in an overheated cargo container

BRUSSELS - Firefighters gassed 20,000 chicks that were suffocating in a hot cargo container at Brussels Airport, the BBC reports.

A flight that was supposed to take the chicks to the Democratic Republic of Congo on Saturday was canceled.

When the exporter refused to take the container back, the decision was made to gas the animals.

Airport firefighters did not want to do it, so a team from a nearby municipality was called in to do it late Sunday.

The move was criticized by some Flemish members of parliament, but an animal welfare spokesperson said some chicks had died by Sunday evening, so "we sent a vet to the scene and he decided to put them out of their misery."