Ritual slaughter allowed only in approved slaughterhouses, EU court rules | News | DW | 29.05.2018
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Ritual slaughter allowed only in approved slaughterhouses, EU court rules

The verdict follows a denial of approval for temporary slaughterhouses in Belgium's Flemish region during Islamic Eid al-Adha festival. Several Muslim groups said the denial infringed their right to religious freedom.

Ritual slaughter of animals without stunning must be done only in approved slaughterhouses, the European Union's top court ruled on Tuesday.

The verdict by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) is a setback for several Muslim organizations and mosques, who had argued that the requirement infringed their right to religious freedom as there were not enough approved slaughterhouses to meet the high demand during festivals.

What did the court say?

  • The law that limits ritual slaughter to approved slaughterhouses does not violate religious freedom.
  • Existing legislation merely serves "organization and technical" purposes.
  • The fact that there are not enough slaughterhouses to meet the high demand was Belgium's internal problem.

Violation of EU law: The Tuesday verdict concerns temporary slaughterhouses approved by the Belgian authorities in the Flemish region to meet the high demand during Islamic Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice) festival. The government in 2014 said it would no longer approve temporary slaughterhouses because it violated EU law.

What is the EU law on ritual slaughter? A 2009 EU regulation says that animals must be stunned before being slaughtered. The law, however, makes an exception in the case of ritual slaughters provided such slaughters are carried out in approved slaughterhouses.

ap/rt (epd, dpa, Reuters)

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