By Agnès Szucs
BRUSSELS (AA): Muslim associations will appeal to the European Court of Human Rights against the Belgian Constitutional Court’s decision prohibiting the halal ritual slaughter of animals, they announced on Friday.
Belgium’s Executive Office of Muslims and the Coordination Council of Islamic Institutions in Belgium have decided to appeal the decision of the European Court in Strasbourg after Belgium’s highest court approved the ban on Thursday, the organizations said. in a press release.
“Current religious slaughter techniques are a full-fledged alternative to stunning animals and are fully compatible with public health, food safety and animal welfare requirements,” they explained.
“The staggering obligation, on the other hand, is only an emotional symbolic measure, which simply serves, to the detriment of religious minorities, to appease the conscience of the average consumer and to obscure the reality that animals are raised as objects of consumption.” in industrial mega-stalls, ”they added.
In 2019, new legislation on the protection and welfare of animals entered into force in the Walloon and Flemish regions of the country. The law prohibits slaughter according to traditional Muslim and Jewish rites by requiring butchers to stun animals before cutting them.
Muslim and Jewish organizations challenged the bill, arguing that the ban on ritual slaughter violates freedom of religion.
In December 2020, the European Court of Justice ruled that authorities could order animals to be stunned before slaughter, which Muslim and Jewish groups say restricts their religious freedom.
The court supported regulations imposed in the Flemish region of Belgium, to an extent seen as effectively banning halal Muslim and kosher Jewish traditions.
“The court concludes that the measures contained in the decree make it possible to strike a fair balance between the importance attached to animal welfare and the freedom of Jewish and Muslim believers to manifest their religion,” said the judgment.
The Muslim News Supplementary Report
[Map of Belgium By US CIA/Public Domain]