Belgium bans halal and kosher animal slaughter

Representative image. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jan 10, 2019, 06.17 PM (IST)

Belgium this week banned religious animal slaughter in a northern region of Flanders triggering outrage among the large Jews and Muslim community living in the area.

Flanders passed the legislation in July 2017 but it came into effect from January 1 this year after facing many objections from Jews and Muslim communities. Among the countries that have also banned religious animal slaughter includes Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Denmark, the Netherlands and Slovenia.

The law specifically bans the slaughter of animals without stunning them first with an electric shock to protect them from the pain. In the kosher or halal method of animal slaughter, animals are required to be in perfect health before it is killed by a quick sharp and deep cut on the neck.

The ban has been welcomed by the animal rights activists who considered the practice inhumane as they claimed that it leads to faster and more painful deaths. Meanwhile, an outcry has been triggered among the Jews and Muslim communities as the claimed the ban amounts to nothing more than "antisemitism" and "Islamophobia" and said that it is a violation of their religious freedom.

Following the ban, animals will be slaughtered after they are stunned electronically which will help them in not feeling the pain in Flanders,

Belgium has about 500,000 population of Muslims and over 30,000 Jews who feared that this may lead to a hike in meat prices.

The ban was proposed by national leader Ben Weyts after he took over as minister of animal welfare four years ago.

Brussels still allows for unstunned ritual slaughter, but banned home slaughter in December 2017, and expected to debate a total ban on unstunned slaughter soon.

Story highlights

Following the ban, animals will be slaughtered after they are stunned electronically which will help them in not feeling the pain in Flanders,