Slaughter without stunning – Christian groups plead for religious freedom of Jews and Muslims
Friday, 12 May 2017
Christian groups in Belgium call for respect of religious freedom in the context of the problem of slaughter without stunning practiced by certain religions. The Walloon Parliament voted in a committee last week on the ban of ritual slaughter on 1 September 2019 if such slaughter is not preceded by a stunning of the animal. In the north of the country, the decree prohibiting slaughter without stunning is ready and is planned for debate in parliament before the holidays so as to come into force by 1 January 2019.
In a statement issued on Thursday night, representatives of Christian groups, that are recognised in Belgium and do not practice ritual slaughter, warned that they will “criticise slaughter without stunning by means of a speech of contempt relating to lifestyle and food rules” with regard to Jewish and Muslim citizens.
“A limited number of animals are affected by the slaughter,” they said, adding that “limiting the pain of the animal as much as possible is always endeavoured towards during this time and that many other problems exist in the food industry and in the processing of meat which, given its scale, is just as important”.
The representatives of the Christian groups invite the authorities to “draw up procedures that reconcile hygiene, public health and animal welfare with the fundamental rights of religious freedom as far as this is possible”.