Sacrifice festival – Around 600 Muslims demonstrate in favour of ritual slaughter
Sunday, 20 September 2015
Brussels-Ixelles police say around 600 people protested on the place de l’Albertine in Brussels. The protest took place between 12 and 14 pm on Saturday. It was part of the citizen movement “Don’t touch my sheep”. Police kept a counter-protest at a distance.
A lot of elderly people joined the movement. Some of the protesters are considering boycotting the Aïd festival on the 24th of September.
European legislation may force slaughterers to stun animals before they are slaughtered, except for religious rites and on condition the animal is slaughtered at a registered abattoir. Permanent abattoirs in Flanders and Wallonia are the only ones performing the ritual slaughter of sheep without stunning them first this year. Temporary abattoirs in the Brussels region will be tolerated this year.
Mustapha Chairi, president of the Collective against Islamophobia in Belgium (CCIB), has criticised the fact that the European legislation has been applied without any discussion beforehand. He mentioned another part of the Muslim problem: “Aïd is an important moment of conviviality for Muslims, who only have this festival and Ramadan. It took several years to solve the problem of temporary abattoirs. At the beginning, you could slaughter animals anywhere in town. We have gradually improved the situation, with professional sacrificers, transport permits, and an animal can now be traced back to where it came from. These changes were instigated by working together, and there were no problems”.
The issue of the animal’s well-being as a whole has not been dealt with, and he says “this consumer society treats animals horrendously”. He also says the studies evaluating the animal’s suffering according to the method of slaughter are contradictory.