In Holland, a proposal to ban Kosher and Halal slaughter methods has moved a step closer to reality, with a majority of the country’s MPs now supporting the ban.
In order to reduce stress, in the EU animals slaughtered for meat are normally stunned before they are killed. But Kosher and Halal butchery requires the animals to be fully conscious when their throats are cut.
Rabbi Raphael Evers, the Rabbi of Rotterdam Federation of Jewish Orthodox Communities in the Netherlands, said: “Our Jewish community feels very shocked. We have been here in the Netherlands for four hundred years and we see this new law against ritual slaughter as an infringement of our constitutional religious rights.”
Most countries grant exceptions for Kosher and Halal abattoirs. But a coalition of animal rights and anti-Muslim groups is now demanding that Kosher and Halal slaughter methods be banned.
Abdulfatteh Ali-Salah, the director of Halal Correct, said: “If the law goes through there will be nothing to do but protest, and we will. The Muslims in the Netherlands will protest en masse against this law.”
Marianne Thieme, who proposed the ban, is a founding member of The “Party of the Animals” which won two seats in the Dutch parliament at the last elections. She believes that humane treatments of animals trumps religious tolerance. Kosher and Halal slaughter is already banned in New Zealand.