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Observant Jews in Holland will have to give up eating meat if animals are stunned

JEWISH and Muslim groups in Holland have kicked off over plans proposed to stun animals before they are ritually slaughtered.

Chief Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs said:

If we no longer have people who can do ritual slaughter in the Netherlands, we will stop eating meat.

And Yusuf Altuntas, President of the CMO – an organisation that links the Muslim community with the Dutch government – told a parliamentary commission:

We are against any form of stunning because it’s against our religion.

Dutch law required animals to be stunned before being slaughtered but made an exception for ritual halal and kosher slaughters.

The country’s Party for Animals (PvdD) which holds two seats in the 150-seat Dutch parliament, has submitted a proposal, if implemented, that would see this exception abolished.

Dutch media widely reported that the PvdD’s proposal was expected to get a majority nod from parliamentarians, but a time-frame was not given.

Esther Ouwehand, a PvdD parliamentarian said:

The animals suffer more and are more distressed if they are not stunned. By getting this modification in the law, we hope to inspire other countries. She pointed out that in Norway and Sweden these measures had already been taken.

More than two million animals – mainly sheep and chickens – are ritually slaughtered every year in the Netherlands.

Jewish and Muslim representatives insist  that ritual slaughter respected the animals’ welfare.

They did however offer to implement some measures which they said would ease the animals’ suffering, especially better controls in abattoirs where ritual slaughters were performed and an improvement in conditions under which animals were being transported.

In January, several organisations in France, among them the Brigitte Bardot Foundation, launched a an anti-ritual slaughter poster campaign.

Meanwhile, in the UK, a new association of non-stun Abattoir owners has been launched.

Speaking at the Paragon Hotel, Birmingham, Ghulam Mustaffa, of Premier Halal Meat, said:

This is good news for Muslim consumers, especially Muslim housewives. The ANSA logo will give them assurance that the meat they will be consuming is truly halal and is ritually halal slaughtered according to Islamic principles.

The association aims to increase the level of ritual slaughter in the UK. This, it says, will:

Open up the halal trade for export, further improving the British economy.

Speaking in support of a campaign by Scotland for Animals’ campaign against ritual slaughter, National Secular Society President Terry Sanderson said:

An exaggerated deference to religious sensibilities by the authorities [in the UK] permits the cruel practise of ritual slaughter to continue unchecked. The right of animals to be treated humanely, even in an abattoir, is overridden by quite unnecessary religious exemptions. It is time the Government looked again at the regulation of religious slaughter and brought it in line with the standards required by a compassionate society.

Hat tip: BarrieJohn (Birmingham report)

23 Responses to “Observant Jews in Holland will have to give up eating meat if animals are stunned”

  1. Harry says:

    “If we no longer have people who can do ritual slaughter in the Netherlands, we will stop eating meat.”

    Works for Sikhs.

  2. sailor1031 says:

    I think it would be great if they all became vegetarians but I have a hunch that, apart from a few fundie muslims and the hasidim, they’ll just go right on eating meat. Probably some “clerics” will reinterpret scripture and suddenly this slaughter method will be perfectly acceptable.

  3. Dave Gilbert says:

    So, let me get this right. Many countries in Europe have seen sense by taking steps to ban this horrendous practice whilst the UK is taking steps to increase it because it will be good for the economy?
    When it comes to animal welfare, I say, fuck the economy.
    Yet again this country seems to kowtow to minority religious sensibilities regardless of other (hopefully majority) sensibilities. I thought we were a nation of animal lovers?

  4. Harry says:

    My last job (same company, different site) was in an office with about eight muslims, all vegetarians. I don’t see why more don’t take the same option. Sure it’s restrictive, but so is halal.

    Full disclosure: Looking forward to my sausage sandwich in about half an hour.

  5. James Mac says:

    Why on earth do the Muslims and Jews insist on maintaining barbaric ritualistic practices when it comes to animal slaughter and mutilating the genitals of boys (and sometimes the genitals of girls, in the case of Muslims) and why on earth do we allow this barbarism is a civilized society? Religious freedom should allow people to believe whatever they want, but not take knives to animals and children in the most sadistic ways.

  6. Angela_K says:

    Many humans and all other animals are free of superstition but the religious want them to suffer just to appease their [the religious] non-existent sky fuhrers.

    I can’t see our religious appeasing Government banning ritual slaughter or male and female genital mutilation soon because they are terrified certain religious groups will riot.

  7. AgentCormac says:

    @ James Mac

    The whole religion thing is backwards and barbaric. And that’s because it’s stuck in a time when the pinnacle of human achievement was the wheel and when people couldn’t actually explain rainfall. But instead of moving on with the rest of the world, these lunatics insist on remaining stuck in the Iron Age with all the pain and suffering that it entails for animals and humans alike. Worse still, they want to drag the rest of us back there with them.

  8. Michael Cohen says:

    As far as i am concerned the fewer people eating meat the better

  9. If it’s cruel, it’s cruel. It’s always baffled me that governments can use this double-think. Because you believe in a sky fairy – or sky fuhrer as Angela above wittily rebranded it – you can torture animals. Oh, and you don’t have to wear a crash helmet on a motorbike if you’re a Sikh, but everyone else has to. Oh, and you can have tax concessions. Oh, and you can pay less – or is it no? – rates on your buildings. Oh, and you can have an automatic say in government if you’re a C of E bishop and one of the chosen 26. It all rather makes one puke.

  10. Stonyground says:

    These devout folk will have to give up meat will they? Well that is hardly a great sacrifice, I became a vegetarian years ago it wasn’t difficult. It was a bonus that I had to improve my cooking skills. The thing is, if any such law is passed, I would bet my meagre savings that most of them don’t.

  11. MrMonist says:

    Traditional halachic rulings decreed that where kosher butchery is outlawed it is acceptable to eat non-kosher killed animals.

    Simple! Ban it and they have an excuse to eat animals killed in the slightly less cruel fashion that the rest of you do!

    (Except that the majority of meat in this country is killed according to halal rules anyway…)

    One good things about the Sikhs is that the only food law they have to follow is that they cannot eat ritualistically killed meat…

  12. barriejohn says:

    One good things about the Sikhs is that the only food law they have to follow is that they cannot eat ritualistically killed meat…

    That is one of the OT commandments that the early Church Fathers stated would always apply to Christians, including Gentile believers!

    http://bible.cc/acts/21-25.htm

  13. Graham says:

    @ James Mac

    “Why on earth do the Muslims and Jews insist on maintaining barbaric ritualistic practices when it comes to animal slaughter and mutilating the genitals of boys (and sometimes the genitals of girls, in the case of Muslims) and why on earth do we allow this barbarism is a civilized society? Religious freedom should allow people to believe whatever they want, but not take knives to animals and children in the most sadistic ways.”

    Well James Mac the answer to your question is simple, They are all as thick as two short planks and have an I.Q lower than a can of dog food. Does anyone disagree?

  14. Daz says:

    Some interesting info (pdf). Do a text search for Slaughter without pre-stunning. That’ll get you to the relevant section. Of particular interest is the Pain and distress during exsanguination subsection. Couple of quotes:

    When a very large transverse incision is made across the neck a number of vital tissues are transected including: skin, muscle, trachea, oesophagus, carotid arteries, jugular veins, major nerve trunks (e.g. vagus and phrenic nerves) plus numerous minor nerves. Such a drastic cut will inevitably trigger a barrage of sensory information to the brain in a sensible (conscious) animal. We are persuaded that such a massive injury would result in very significant pain and distress in the period before insensibility supervenes.

    and

    Additionally, on one visit, we observed the slaughterman place his hand into the neck wound of cattle immediately after the cut had been made, presumably to try to ensure the free flow of blood from the severed carotid arteries (see ‘occlusion’ below). This procedure in itself is, in our view, likely to cause further unnecessary pain and distress and is also unlikely to achieve its objective.

  15. Robster says:

    Why on earth can’t they get their “knickers in a knot” over the regular religious hang-up…sex, like the rest of them?

  16. Anonymous says:

    Robster, why does your link give an alert as a possible phishing site?

  17. Daz says:

    Anonymous

    I assume that it’s ’cause there’s an ‘@’ in it. Robster, are you adding an email address in the Website field?

  18. Brian Jordan says:

    Of course, no consideration is given to the fact that New Zealand exports a lot of halal meat – all killed after pre-stunning. Also there are two halal authorities in the UK, at daggers-drawn because one allows pre-stunning. Of course, our toadying governments always sign up to the most extreme interpretation of any laws – those from the EU included.
    As an aside, am I right in thinking that regardless of stunning, all halal slaughter has to be done by a Muslim? If so, the expansion of the halal trade to non-Muslim customers must be driving some slaughtermen out of work. Is there really an exemption from discrimination laws here, or is that being passed on the nod too?
    EDIT: re New Zealand, have a look at
    http://halalmedia.my/new-zealand-must-explain-halal-certification-better

  19. ORAXX says:

    The inability of twenty-first century humanitarianism to displace bronze age myth, does not fill me with optimism.

  20. gsw says:

    @@ James Mac & Graham:
    “Why on earth do the Muslims and Jews insist on maintaining barbaric ritualistic practices”

    I disagree that it is because they are thick as two planks, I am not saying they are not, I am just saying that is not the reason.
    It is much simpler:
    a) it emphasises the ‘them and us’ mentality;
    b) enforces feelings of superiority (we are better than them ‘cos we eat halal);
    c) by insisting and getting governments to change our laws they are stating that their laws are better than our laws (dangerous);
    d) when they don’t get it they can claim discrimination;
    e) when institutions buy ALL halal (for economic reasons) muslims make money, the MCB makes money (halal certification) and the Kufir are pissed off (that’s always a bonus!).

    I shall remain a vegetarian.