Dutch lawmakers are set to ban centuries-old Jewish and Muslim traditions of slaughtering animals, but agreed Wednesday to a last-minute compromise offering religious groups exemptions, if they can prove their method of killing livestock does not cause additional suffering.
Centrist lawmakers from several parties — worried that their backing for the ban will cost them votes from Muslim and Jewish supporters — hammered out the compromise shortly before a final debate on the legislation.
Stientje van Veldhoven of the centrist D66 party said the amendment gives religious groups "a chance to go and investigate what is possible instead of just telling them what they can't do."
"The law as it was presented ... ruled out any possible future development," Van Veldhoven told national broadcaster NOS. "It ruled out that there could be a method other than stunning first that could prevent animals suffering."
But the compromise did little to appease Jewish and Muslim groups who have called the proposed ban an attack on religious freedom.