Denmark bans halal and kosher slaughter, as minister for agriculture, Dan Jorgensen, says:
One week later, PETA UK reported that British military surgeons are being sent to Denmark for a controversial training on live animals – even though the practice is illegal in the UK. During this training, the pigs are strung up then blasted with an AK-47 rifle or a 9 mm handgun. To give them experience of working on gun wounds, medics then operate on the animals. Even if the surgery is a success, the pigs are later killed.
Such cruel practice is impossible to justify medically, ethically or educationally, as eighty per cent of Nato allies have already ended the cruel use of animals in archaic military medical training exercises. Instead of shooting, stabbing and blowing up animals, military personnel in these nations are trained to treat traumatic injuries using life-like human-patient simulators, such as the state-of-the-art Caesar military simulator. This is used by the Nato Centre of Excellence for Military Medicine, as well as other non-animal methods that have repeatedly been shown in military and civilian studies to teach lifesaving skills better than crude animal laboratories.
BAN ON RELIGIOUS SLAUGHTER OF ANIMALS BEGINS IN DENMARK
The Danish Ministry for Food, Agriculture, and Fisheries has released a statement addressing the new regulation on kosher and halal slaughter.
“No slaughter without pre-stunning has been registered in Denmark in the last ten years. It is still permitted to import meat slaughtered without pre-stunning. And a very large amount of Danish meat has been – and will continue to be – halal slaughtered, with the animal stunned right before slaughter”, says Danish Agriculture and Food Minister Dan Jorgensen.
Khalil Jaffar, an imam at the Islamic Cultural Centre in Copenhagen, told Al Jazeera on Tuesday that Danish Islamic leaders issued a religious decree several years ago saying that animals stunned before slaughter were considered halal in Denmark. Danish Halal, a non-profit halal monitoring group, maintains that stunning the animal before slaughter is in contradiction to the rules of halal slaughter. Their petition against the new regulation has received 12,000 signatures. According to an announcement by Danish Halal on Tuesday, the group has a meeting with Jorgensen on Friday, and will deliver the petition at that time.
A ban on kosher and halal slaughter in Denmark began Monday. Announcing the ban last week, Danish Agriculture and Food Minister Dan Jorgensen said, “Animal rights come before religion”.
Traditionally, in order to be considered kosher under Jewish law or halal under Islamic law, animals must be conscious when killed. The new rule, which follows similar regulations in other European countries, requires animals be stunned before slaughter.
Danish Halal launched a petition condemning the ban. The group calls it “a clear interference in religious freedom limiting the rights of Muslims and Jews to practice their religion in Denmark”.
Israeli Deputy Minister of Religious Services Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan, apparently responding to the ban, said, “European anti-Semitism is showing its true colours across Europe, and is even intensifying in the government institutions”.
However, Finn Schwartz, the president of Denmark’s Jewish community, rebuffed claims that the ban was anti-Semitic, calling the relationship between the Danish government and Jewish community “perfect”. Schwartz also questioned the minister’s claim that the ban would ban kosher slaughter in Denmark. The last kosher animal slaughter in Denmark reportedly happened more than ten years ago, reported Aljazeera.
We suggest you read the article on our website to have access to all the linked information:
LET’S HAVE RITUAL SLAUGHTER BANNED THROUGHOUT THE EU!
Please sign OFA’s petition to the European Union!
The European Union directive, “European Convention for the Protection of Animals for Slaughter”, generally requires stunning before slaughter, but allows member states to allow exemptions for religious slaughter: “Each Contracting Party may authorize derogations from the provisions concerning prior stunning in the following cases: – slaughtering in accordance with religious rituals …”.
In May 2009 the European Parliament voted in favour of allowing ritual slaughter in member states.
What is the difference for the animals?
Non-stunned animals are slaughtered in vivid mindfulness, they experience unacceptable suffering. Their agony can last several minutes.
In the context of slaughter with stunning, the animal does not suffer at the time of slaughter, since there is loss of consciousness. Scientists have clearly stated: “Because of the serious animal welfare associated with slaughter without stunning, stunning should always be carried out before the slaughter.”
In some countries, ritually killed animals are stunned before bleeding (Norway, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland, New Zealand). The steps are then the same as for conventional slaughter.
The NEXT video (graphic!) demonstrates the difference between slaughter with prior stunning, vs slaughter without stunning (ritual or religious slaughter). While the animal in the first method is rendered unconscious immediately, the animals slaughtered without prior stunning experience their agony in full consciousness.
You don’t need to be an expert to see that this causes immense unnecessary suffering to the animals.
If we, as the dominant species on Earth (!?), are to use and consume animals, it is our duty to minimize their suffering in doing so. The anachronism of slaughter without stunning has no place in the modern world and should be outlawed. This special indulgence to religious practices should be replaced with the evidence-based approaches to which the rest of us are subject.
For us, religious freedom stops where human or animal suffering begins.
Our petition requests that the European Parliament prompts the Council to delete from Council Regulation (EC) No. 1099/2009 of 24 September 2009 on the Protection of Animals at the Time of Killing the derogation whereby animals can be killed without prior stunning where such methods of slaughter are prescribed by religious rites (Art. 4.4).
By signing this important petition, the letter that you can read below will be sent instantly to Mrs Erminia Mazzoni - Chair of the Committee on Petitions at the European Parliament.
Our petition can be signed at change.org and we thank you very much in advance for your signature.
THE PETITION LETTER
Mrs Erminia Mazzoni, Chair of the Committee on Petitions at the European Parliament
I hereby request that the European Parliament prompts the Council to delete from Council Regulation (EC) No. 1099/2009 of 24 September 2009 on the Protection of Animals at the Time of Killing the derogation whereby animals can be killed without prior stunning where such methods of slaughter are prescribed by religious rites (Art. 4.4).
Such derogation is in contradiction to the overall objective of the Regulation, i.e. the protection of animals from pain, anxiety and suffering during the slaughter process. Despite the statement in the Recitals, whereby it is emphasized that “animal welfare is a Community value that is enshrined in the Protocol (No. 33) on protection and welfare of animals, annexed to the Treaty establishing the European Community (Protocol No. 33)”, the Regulation allows for the methods of slaughter which, according to the contemporary standards, must be viewed as unquestionably cruel and causing unnecessary pain and anxiety, in terms of both physical and mental distress, and making animals die in extreme suffering.
This fundamental inconsistency in the Regulation was articulated already by the European Economic and Social Committee, in their opinion on the proposal for Regulation (EC) No. 1099/2009 (see EESC opinion of 25 February 2009). The EESC also indicated that with innovative stunning systems it is possible to comply with religious rules while ensuring that animals are properly stunned but still alive prior to slaughter. Serious objections to the derogation on ritual slaughter have been also expressed by numerous organizations of scholars, animal welfare experts, food safety consultants and veterinarians (e.g. FAWC, HAS, EFSA, FVE), as well as by the experts involved in the DIALREL project funded by the European Commission. Unfortunately, none of these opinions has been taken into account in the said Regulation.
The underlying reason for the derogation on ritual slaughter was the Commission’s concern about the needs of some of the EU citizens, stemming from the special dietary requirements of certain Muslim or Jewish communities. However, the experience of the past few years shows that the current derogation for non-stunned slaughter is abused to a large extent in some Member States, with the result that the meat and meat products from animals slaughtered without pre-stunning enters the mainstream food chain without being labelled, depriving European consumers of their right to make an informed choice on whether they wish to eat such products. This issue was addressed by the European Parliament in the Resolution of 4 July 2012 on the European Union Strategy for the Protection and Welfare of Animals 2012-2015 (Art. 49). The extreme example of such abuse is Poland, where – despite the fact that non-stunned slaughter is not allowed under the Polish Animal Protection Act and the Muslim and Jewish communities are a minute percentage of the country population (less than 0.05%) – ritual slaughter according to Halal and Shechitah methods is done on an enormous scale in dozens of slaughterhouses throughout the country (according to the official 2011 statistics – over 150,000 tons of beef and over 50 million of chickens!). Almost 100% of the meat and meat products from non-stunned slaughter is exported from Poland, mainly to the Muslim countries and Israel. Thus, the non-stunned slaughter in the Polish slaughterhouses does not serve the purpose which the European legislator had in mind when adopting the derogation, i.e. respecting the religious rites of certain European citizens, but is done merely for commercial reasons – to maximize the profits of Polish entrepreneurs, who are becoming the leading meat suppliers to the Muslim and Jewish markets worldwide.
Furthermore, the alleged need to maintain the derogation on ritual slaughter in the European legislation is not supported by the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights. Although the Court admits that eating the meat from ritual slaughter is an element of the freedom of conscience and religion, yet it is explicitly stated “there would be interference with the freedom to manifest one’s religion only if the illegality of performing ritual slaughter made it impossible for ultra-orthodox Jews to eat meat from animals slaughtered with the religious prescriptions they considered applicable” (case of Cha’are Shalom Ve Tsedek vs France, judgment of 27 June 2000). In the said case, the Court concluded that religious freedom was not restricted as long as the special kind of meat could be imported from another country.
In view of all the above described circumstances, I believe that it is only right that the European Parliament prompts the Council to delete from Regulation No. 1099/2009 the derogation on ritual slaughter and adopts uniform European legislation under which non-stunned slaughter is totally banned in all the Member States.
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What a relief to read that at least SOME people CARE enough to DO something for easing animals manmade PAIN ! …Although a BAN is just a violent “Anti-Strategy” We need to be aware of what goal we want to ACHIEVE INSTEAD !!! … And : Animals don´t need “rights” ! These are always alienable ! They need our RESPECT & SENSITIVITY for their basic NEEDS …before religious addiction, intoxication, madness & unconsciousness ! :-X