Dutch animal party begins second effort to ban religious slaughter for meat

Despite opposition by the Dutch constitutional court, the animal party (PvdD) has filed its second bill seeking a ban on the slaughter of animals without stunning.

The Party for the Animals filed the bill in the Tweede Kamer, the Dutch lower house. It was after the Council of State, an advisory body on legislation and the Netherlands’ highest general administrative court, had issued an unusual warning about the bill, saying it would unreasonably compromise religious freedoms.

In 2012, the Dutch Senate scrapped a ban, which the party had initiated, on the practice. Submitted by the Party for Freedom, the bill received support from various political parties, including the anti-Islam Party for Freedom. But the Senate voted down the bill, citing reasons similar to those cited by the Council of State.

Jewish religious laws require animals be conscious when they are slaughtered for their meat to be kosher. Islam has similar rules for the production of halal meat.

The Organisation of Jewish Communities in the Netherlands, or NIK, – the country’s EJC affiliate – in a statement said it “strongly rejects” the new bill, which NIK Chairman Ruben Vis said ignores both the Council of State’s position and understandings reached between the government and the Jewish and Muslim communities in 2017.

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