29 Jun 2011

Dutch parliament bans ritual slaughter of animals

8:56 am on 29 June 2011

The lower house of the Dutch parliament has passed a law effectively banning the ritual slaughter of animals against the wishes of Muslim and Jewish groups.

The legislation states all animals must be stunned before being killed. But traditional Islamic and Jewish methods of ritual slaughter require them to be fully conscious, the BBC reports.

The legislation was proposed by an animal rights party with two MPs, which argued that failing to stun the animals subjected them to unnecessary pain.

However, debate over the matter swiftly became a focus of animosity towards the Netherlands' 1.2 million-strong Muslim community.

The country's Jewish population is comparatively small at 50,000.