December 17th, local time, the European Court of Justice ruled that the member states of the European Union could issue an order that animals must be in a coma before slaughtering before slaughtering. However, Jewish and Muslim groups condemned this, saying that it violated their traditions.
AFP reported that the ruling of the European Court of Justice was actually based on animal protection rights, and also supported the decree imposed by the government of the Flanders region of Belgium a few years ago to prohibit slaughtering livestock without fainting.
It is generally believed that this decree largely terminates the two traditional rituals of religious nature, the local Muslim “halal” and Jewish “clean eating”. These traditional rituals originally required that livestock should remain awake when people slaughter.
The ruling document published on the official website of the European Court of Justice read: “The Court concluded that the measures contained in the order can strike a balance between the importance of animal welfare and the freedom of Jewish and Muslim believers to express their ‘freedom of religious belief’.”
Since 2014, the government of the Flanders region of Belgium has issued a decree prohibiting slaughtering livestock without fainting in slaughterhouses, which entered into force last year. Although the reasons for the order at that time were “protecting animal rights” and “reducing the suffering of animals when slaughtering”, the decree actually affected Muslims and Jews.
According to AFP on the 17th, the Israeli government and Muslim and Jewish groups criticized that the European decree attacked their traditional religious rituals “halal” and “clean eating”, both of which must be consciously slaughtered and slaughtered by livestock.
“This sends a harsh signal to all European Jews.” The Israeli Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the ruling of the European Court of Justice not only undermines the core value of the European Union, “freedom of religious belief”, but also sends a signal to the Jewish community that the Jewish way of life is unpopular in Europe.
The Belgian Federation of Jewish Organizations called this ruling a “negation of democracy” and did not respect the rights of minorities. “We will not admit defeat, we will continue to fight, and we will use all legal means,” said Yohan Benizri, president of the federation.
Menachem Margolin, president of the European Jewish Association, believes that the date of the announcement of the ruling is a “sad day” for Jews in Europe.
“What a terrible message it sends to European Jews that you and your practices are unpopular here, and it deprives us of the European citizens of our fundamental rights.” Magolin said.
In addition, the Muslim community in Belgium expressed disappointment at the ruling, according to the report.
“The European Court of Justice seems to have succumbed to growing political and social pressure from populist movements that are attacking vulnerable minorities throughout Europe,” the Belgian Coordinating Committee of Islamic Institutions said in a statement.
On the other hand, the ruling of the European Court of Justice has cheered local governments and animal rights activists, who have always believed that it is more humane to make animals unconscious when slaughtered.
“Today is a great day.” Michel Vandenbosch, head of the animal rights organization GAIA, said that the ruling would save hundreds of thousands of animals from hellish religious slaughter.
“For me, after 25 years of unremitting struggle, this is one of the happiest days of my life.” Van den Bosch said.