The Muslim Executive of Belgium (known as “the EMB”) is demanding that the State Council should be consulted on the issue of slaughter without prior stunning. It has said that this consultation should take place before the final vote on the decree anticipating the prohibition of any ritual slaughter without stunning.
The EMB indicated this in a communiqué yesterday (Monday). The Jewish Central Consistory of Belgium had made the same request last Friday.
The EMB states, “Mr Salah Echallaoui, the President of the Muslim Executive of Belgium, has asked Mr André Antoine, the President of the Walloon Parliament, to refer the matter to the Legislative Section of the State Council. This ought to occur before the final vote on the decree anticipating prohibition of slaughter without stunning.”
The communiqué elaborates, “The proposal contained within the decree gives rise, in the view of the EMB, to serious doubts as to its compatibility with the free exercise of religious rites.”
It points out that, “Such rites are guaranteed both within the Belgian Constitution and by the European Convention on Human Rights.”
The Executive finally stresses, “A decision of such a sensitive nature should be taken with all of the necessary precautions. In particular this includes striking a fair balance between animal welfare and freedom of religion.”
The Environment Commission of the Walloon Parliament approved the proposed decree on May 5th. This aims to prohibit the slaughter of animals without prior stunning with effect from June 1st, 2018. However, the decree incorporates a transitional period for ritual slaughter through to September 1st, 2019.