The centre for equal opportunities, Unia, considered that “the exception provided for Muslims allowing them to slit the throat of a sheep, without prior stunning, during the Sacrifice Feast is not all discriminatory.” Michaël François, the Unia Press and Communications Officer, confirmed this information in La Dernière Heure Les Sports yesterday morning (Thursday).
The animal rights activist association, Gaïa, had complained to Unia, stressing the discriminatory nature of ritual slaughter in Belgium.
It clearly stated, when doing so, that a non-Muslim, a non-Jew or a non-believer could be prosecuted for such actions.
Unia refuted this explanation stating that the compulsory stunning of an animal before slaughter resulted from European regulation with an exception for “slaughters prescribed by religious custom.”
This exception flows from an article of European Convention on Human Rights which acknowledges “the freedom [of individuals] to practice religion or beliefs either individually or collectively, in public or private, by means of worship, religious teachings, practices and general observance.”
Unia’s opinion adds that “non-Jews, non-Muslims as well as non-believers having a ‘belief’ in the sense of the Convention, and who demand animal slaughter occurs without any form of stunning, could also benefit from the derogation provided by European and national standards.”