On Wednesday, the Flemish parliament unanimously passed, with only one s.pa abstention, the prohibition on ritual slaughter without stunning. This willl be effective from 2019. Stunning will thus be compulsory for the majority of animal species, using the process of electrical stunning. For beef and calves, the stunning technique is not yet ready to operate. For these animals, stunning occurs immediately after slitting the animal’s throat.
In Flanders, the discussion around instigating a general prohibition on slaughter without stunning has been ongoing for a long time. Political support favouring such a measure has gained momentum over recent years. However, the matter has met with reluctance and legal obstacles.
To reiterate the recent history of the issue, the Minister for Animal Welfare, Ben Weyts (New Flemish Alliance), decided to entrust to a mediator the task of the spadework in respect of the matter. Political agreement was reached at the beginning of the year, following the publication of the report in respect of the latter. This agreement was translated into a proposed decree, which was adopted almost unanimously.
Abattoirs now have a year and a half to prepare both their personnel and their infrastructure for the new legal mechanism and the new slaughter method. Jewish and Muslim communities will be able to take advantage of support in the application of the new rules. There will be a designated intermediary for this purpose.
The Brussels Times