Halal, Kosher slaughter methods outlawed in Belgium

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MeatBrussels : Belgium’s region of Flanders has begun banning slaughtering animals without first electrically stunning them, which impacts local production of Halal and Kosher meat in the country.

The regional parliament unanimously voted to outlaw the Islamic way of slaughtering animals in June 2017.

Muslims make up 5 percent of Belgium’s total population of 11.50 million, while the Jewish communities make up 0.4 percent.

Earlier this year, the regional government in Lower Austria came under fire in the country and abroad for their plans to limit access to kosher and halal meat, after speculation arose that believers would have to register to buy meat from animals slaughtered according to religious laws. Some associated the legislation, which is directed against animal cruelty, with Nazi rules.

In Germany, religious slaughter methods are generally forbidden, although exceptions can be made. In Austria, it is only permitted to take place at specially approved slaughterhouses, in the presence of a veterinarian.

Debate on restricting these methods has also taken place in Poland, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.

—AG/UNA-OIC

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