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Wallonia drafts ban on animal slaughter without stunning

Jan 14, 2017
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Wallonia's parliament is set to vote on a ban on the slaughter of animals without pre-stunning.

The parliament's environment committee sent its proposals this week to the Council of State, which will be given 30 days to give an opinion on the legislation, which intends to prevent animal suffering.

However, the issue is a sensitive one given its strong religious ties. The current laws make an exception to the pre-stunning of animals for slaughter if performed in a religious rite, provided that the procedure is undertaken in a registered slaughterhouse.

Josy Arens of the CDH party said: "Based on the information provided by slaughterhouses in 2014, slaughter according to religious rites in Wallonia concerned 6.35% (or 190,495) of slaughtered cattle and 35.8% (or 13,282) slaughtered sheep."

Arens, along with Christine Defraigne, wrote the proposed legislature that seeks to ban the religious act. Defraigne believes that ritual slaughter without stunning is more a matter of tradition than of religious obligation.

Together, the two MPs have pointed out that other European countries have already banned the practice, and that Muslim countries readily accept the imports of meat that had been stunned before slaughter.

Carlo Di Antonio, the Walloon minister in charge of animal welfare, intends to integrate the ban in his draft Animal Welfare Code.

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