Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters
Denmark to ban halal and kosher slaughter methods
February 14, 2014 World Bulletin / News Desk
Denmark's Agriculture and Food Ministry has announced that as of Monday the Jewish and Muslim traditional method of animal slaughter will be banned in the country, following similar measures already in place in Poland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland.
A new law requires that all animals are stunned before being slaughtered, which is contrary to Islamic and Jewish teachings. This means that observant Muslims and Jews living in Denmark will no longer be able to purchase their meat from local butchers, and will have to buy imported halal and kosher meat instead.
The ministry argues that halal and kosher slaughter methods are unethical and that religious rights do not come before animal rights. However, Muslims and Jews insist that their slaughter methods cause minimal suffering to the animals.
European Commissioner for Health, Tonio Borg, condemned the ban, saying that it “contradicts European law.” Agriculture and Food Minister Karen Hækkerup, acknowledged that Muslims and Jews were upset by the new measures, but vowed that the ministry would not change its policy.
Ban non-stun slaughter practices
January 16, 2017 Carmina Gooch’s e-mail re: slaughter without stunning
Dear Minister MacAulay,
I am writing to ask you to ban the slaughter of any and all animals without stunning them first, as well as the religious sacrifice of animals.
Under federal law, the default rule is that animals must be stunned so that they are rendered unconscious before being bled. However, there is an exception for ritual slaughter in accordance with Judaic or Islamic law: it is permissible to restrain and cut the throats of fully conscious animals. This is gratuitous cruelty and unacceptable in a humane society.
As you are aware, new draft guidelines on the practice are currently open for public comment. The draft guidelines have been developed by the Federal/Provincial Animal Welfare Group, which includes the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association is opposed to slaughter without stunning because “it causes avoidable pain. Even the new draft guidelines concede that pre-slaughter stunning is “the best method to control anxiety, pain and suffering”.
The Scientific Panel on Animal Health and Welfare (AHAW) of the European Food Safety Authority concludes that “due to the serious animal welfare concerns associated with slaughter without stunning, pre-cut stunning should always be performed.”
Globally, there is near-consensus among veterinarians that non-stun slaughter causes additional fear and pain to animals. Religious freedom is a Canadian value but it should not trump the right to harm animals.
Many countries have already banned or restricted non-stun slaughter, including Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, New Zealand, and Australia.
Canadians care greatly about animal protection, and I sincerely hope that you will introduce legislation to ban cruel non-stun slaughter practices.
Photo: The Guardian 2014
February 3, 2012 Canada’s Flourishing Halal Butchers
March 19, 2011 B.C. Muslims run up against slaughterhouse policy
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