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Animal welfare committee holds special session on ritual slaughter

10:18 25/08/2015

The Flemish parliament’s animal welfare committee will meet this week to discuss the issue surrounding the slaughter of animals without stunning them, against the law in Belgium but required by Jewish and Muslim tradition. 

The animal welfare committee of the Flemish parliament will hold a special recess session on Wednesday to discuss the state of affairs concerning ritual slaughter in Flanders, with questions for animal welfare minister Ben Weyts.

The minister (pictured) has stated that he wants to extend the ban on the slaughter of animals without stunning – as practised in both halal and kosher rituals – to temporary slaughterhouses set up to cope with demand during the Muslim Eid el-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice). Ritual slaughter would then be limited to officially licensed slaughterhouses, which all employ stunning according to law.

Eventually, however, Weyts would like to see a total ban on ritual slaughter, a measure that brings the Jewish community into the equation, and which led to Weyts being compared to Hitler earlier this summer for trying to wipe out Jewish traditions. Coalition partner CD&V is against the extension of the ban.

Photo: Jasper Jacobs/BELGA

Written by Alan Hope