Saturday, April 9, 2011

Netherlands to vote on law banning slaughter of meat by halal and kosher methods - 8th Apr 2011

The slaughter of animals by halal or kosher methods could be banned in Holland.

The Muslim and Jewish practices inflict unacceptable suffering on animals, campaigners say.

A vote will take place later this month. An unlikely alliance of an animal rights party and the Right-wing Freedom Party is heading support for the ban.

The Party of the Animals, the first such party to be elected to a parliament, says humane treatment of animals trumps traditions of tolerance.

However, the move has angered Jewish and Muslim groups, which insist the initiative is an affront to freedom of religion.

As in most western countries, Dutch law dictates that butchers must stun livestock – render it unconscious – before slaughter, to minimise pain and fear.

But an exception is made for meat prepared under ancient Jewish and Muslim dietary laws.

These demand that animals be slaughtered while still awake, by swiftly cutting the main neck arteries with razor-sharp knives.

Most Dutch favour a ban. The procedures are already banned in New Zealand, Scandinavian and Baltic countries and Switzerland.

The far right's support of the bill, which is expected to go to a parliamentary vote this month, is based on its strident hostility towards the Dutch Muslim population. Read More