Belgium: Half of Muslims don't reject stunning before slaughter

Belgium: Half of Muslims don't reject stunning before slaughter

Half of Belgian Muslims either support or are neutral regarding stunning animals before slaughter, a third think it's unacceptable, according to a survey by Insites for the animal-rights organization Gaia. The survey was conducted among 261 Belgian Muslims before the Muslim Eid ul-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice).

Belgium allows animals to be slaughtered without stunning only for religious slaughter.

The official standpoint of the Muslim Executive and imams in Belgium rejects stunning, in contrast to countries like Saudi-Arabia and Indonesia. The survey shows that 21% of the Muslims support stunning and 30% are neutral. 36% say stunning is unacceptable, even among the most practicing Muslims, only half reject stunning. 38% think that the Koran expressly forbids stunning animals before slaughter.

"That Muslims are all against stunning is an image that clearly should be more nuanced," says Gaia chairman Michel Vandenbosch.

40% of the Muslims are prepared to give a gift instead of slaughtering a sheep, while 28% are against it.

Gaia says that the suffering of animals in slaughter without stunning has been proven scientifically. On Tuesday the animal-rights organization turned to politicians, the Muslim Executive and individual Muslims to end what is a "very painful practice for animals".

Last year Gaia also fought against such slaughter. The Council for Animal Welfare suggested to impose stunning on all slaughter, and there were four bills on the topic.

Sources: Gaia, HLN (Dutch)

See also:

* Antwerp: Discount for Muslims who stun their sheep before slaughter

* Belgium: Slaughter without anesthesia contrary to the Koran, says MP