Rabat - Belgium has joined Denmark, Switzerland and New Zealand in banning the slaughter of non-stunned animals. The country’s Wallooon region issued a legislation to ban Muslim halal and Jewish kosher meat starting September 1, 2019.
Rabat – Belgium has joined Denmark, Switzerland and New Zealand in banning the slaughter of non-stunned animals. The country’s Wallooon region issued a legislation to ban Muslim halal and Jewish kosher meat starting September 1, 2019.
The law was voted on by the Environment Committee of Southern Belgium’s Walloon Parliament, arguing that while Islamic and Jewish slaughtering rituals both require the animal to be conscious before swiftly slitting its throat, rendering animals unconscious before the slaughter is more merciful and humane.
Belgium’s Muslim community reacted to the law saying that the religious council has previously opposed stunned slaughter, however no change has been made.
“Muslims are worried about whether they can eat halal food in conformity with their religious rites and beliefs,” the Belgian Muslim Executive said.
The European Jewish Congress (EJC) also criticized the law, explaining that it “attacks the very core of our culture and religious practice and our status as equal citizens with equal rights in a democratic society. It gives succor to anti-Semites and to those intolerant of other communities and faiths.”
“This decision, in the heart of Western Europe and the center of the European Union, sends a terrible message to Jewish communities throughout our continent that Jews are unwanted,” EJC president Moshe Kantor said.
“We call on legislators to step back from the brink of the greatest assault on Jewish religious rights in Belgium since the Nazi occupation of the country in World War II,” he added.
A poll by Eurobarometer in 2012 showed that 5 percent of the Belgium population is Muslim, while the Jews in the country accounted for 0.4 percent of the population.