The regional Flemish government indicated yesterday evening (Monday) that the Flemish decree, prohibiting slaughter without stunning, is now prepared in draft.
It could well be debated in parliament before the summer holidays, with a view to coming into force on January 1st, 2019.
In Wallonia, the prohibition will be applied for this year’s Muslim “Sacrifice Feast.”
At the end of March, the New Flemish Alliance, the Flemish Christian Democrats and the Open Vld concluded a political agreement, anticipating this prohibition.
Initially, it was thought likely that there would be an agreement between the Jewish and Muslim communities. However, that proved illusory.
The opposition has already indicated that it is in favour of the initiative, opening the way for the potential unanimous adoption of the text.
If the decree obtains the green light, electric stunning of sheep will be compulsory from January 1st.
The decree explains, “Both Muslim and Jewish rites demand that the animal is both whole and in good health at the time of slaughter. Per the rite in both faiths, it is also a requirement that the animal’s death should result from the blood loss. Electrocution responds to this need.”
It elaborates, “For small animals, such as sheep, the technique is already able to be used and is, in fact, operated in several countries.”
For cattle, stunning is not yet ready to be used. However, the decree gives the government the option of making it compulsory when this is the case.
The Brussels Times