EU: Parliament keeps exemption for religious slaughter

EU: Parliament keeps exemption for religious slaughter

All forms of unnecessary suffering by animals must be avoided but an exemption should be granted for ritual slaughter on grounds of respect for religious freedom, says a report adopted by the European Parliament on plans to tighten up the rules on animal welfare at the time of slaughter.

Every year in the European Union, 360 million pigs, cattle, sheep and goats are killed, as are over 4 billion poultry birds and 25 million animals reared for fur.  In a consultation report drafted by Janusz Wojciechowski (UEN, PL), the European Parliament approved a European Commission proposal seeking to replace the 1993 directive on the protection of animals at the time of slaughter by a new regulation to improve animal welfare while allowing more uniform application of EU rules in Member States.  Amendments adopted are chiefly intended to clarify the rules so they can be more easily applied and protect animals effectively, to prevent red tape and to ensure that imports comply with EU standards.

Stunning before death, except for religious slaughter

MEPs approve the principle that animals must be slaughtered using only methods that ensure death instantly or after stunning, except in the case of religious ritual, for which they called for the current blanket exemption to be preserved rather than allowing for exemptions to be decided at national level. 

Source: EU Parliament

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