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EU top court upholds Belgian limits on halal slaughter

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Europe’s top court on Tuesday said halal slaughter is only allowed in licensed slaughterhouses, ruling that a Belgian ban on the ritualised religious slaughter by Muslims elsewhere did not infringe on freedom of religion.

The case was brought by a group of Muslim organisations against Belgium’s Flanders region after it banned temporary religious slaughter houses – set up during the Islamic Feast of the Sacrifice, or Eid al-Adha, which this year begins on August 21.

The European Court of Justice ruled the regulation on where to allow ritual slaughter aimed “to organise and manage the freedom to carry out slaughter without prior stunning for religious purposes.”

The limits are no different, in principal, to those applying to any slaughter of animals within the European Union, the court said in a statement.

(Reporting by Megan Dollar; Editing by Alissa de Carbonnel and Matthew Mpoke Bigg)

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