End To Slaughter Without Stunning Welcomed

NETHERLANDS - Welfare campaigning organisation, Eurogroup for Animals, has welcomed the vote earlier this week by the Dutch Parliament which makes stunning prior to slaughter, including for religious slaughter obligatory in the Netherlands.
calendar icon 30 June 2011
clock icon 2 minute read

This is a step forward for animal welfare as it ends the exemption for religious slaughter where animals are killed fully conscious without stunning on religious grounds and this will alleviate the suffering of up to one million animals in the Netherlands, says Eurogroup for Animals.

The Bill, which received overwhelming support in the Parliament (116 out of 150 votes), is based on the strong scientific consensus that animals rendered unconscious prior to slaughter suffer less than animals bled while fully conscious.

Dr Michel Courat, Policy Officer for Farm Animals at Eurogroup for Animals, commented: "This is a major step forward for animal welfare and we urge all of the 26 other European Union member states to follow the example of the Dutch government. It will however be possible for religious groups to get an exemption, but only when they provide indisputably proof that their alternative method will not cause more harm to animal welfare than pre-slaughter stunning."

The ban is not directed against religious slaughter as such, it only states that religion is not a sufficient reason to let animals suffer unnecessarily, according to Eurogroup. As such it is an invitation to religious groups to explore the boundaries of what their faiths allows and to implement new, innovative animal welfare friendly methods.

Eurogroup has been monitoring the number of animals slaughtered without prior stunning in the EU and is very concerned that the amount of meat coming from animals slaughtered in this way is much higher than the amount required to meet the needs of the religious communities in the EU.

Dr Courat added: "It is a disgrace that consumers are buying meat from animals that have being slaughtered in this way without their knowledge and against their wishes. The Dutch have now sent a very clear signal and the European Commission must act to ensure that in future this is the standard across the European Union."

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