Dutch foray on Halal, unstunned Halal and Kosher meat in jeopardy MEAT
(Amsterdam-NewsHalal, Jumada al-ula 10, 1437, February 19, 2016) The government of Holland said it plans to limit ritual slaughter through new measures, including a ban on the export of halal and kosher meat.
The latest announcement raising serious concerns among the Muslim and Jewish communities in the country as several community and religious leaders calling the Dutch government plan a violation of basic human rights and religious freedom under the pretext of animal rights.
Agriculture Minister of Holland Martijn van Dam announced the plan in a letter to the lower house of the Dutch parliament.
In addition to the ban on exporting kosher and halal meat, the new measures will make the production of such meat subject to the discretion of officials from the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority. Last year, the authority urged the government to ban ritual slaughter outright, claiming it was inhumane.
The authority “will oversee compliance with legal requirements connected to animal welfare,” the letter read. In slaughter without prior stunning – a requirement in both kosher and halal slaughter – the authority “will permanently oversee the actual practice of the slaughter.” Slaughterhouses will bear the costs of any activity connected to the authority, the letter read.
Dutch consumers and meat producers expressing concerns that the new plan could raise the prices of meat and may raise doubts on whether the meat or meat products in the country are in fact halal. Some Muslims in Holland calling the government plan a foray on Halal and Muslims life style while Jewish community members calling it unacceptable.
In June 2011, Dutch parliament has passed a bill banning the slaughter of livestock without stunning it first, removing an exemption that has allowed Jews and Muslims to slaughter animals according to their faith based centuries-old dietary rules.
The uncomforted move of banning halal and kosher slaughter triggered serious protests and concerns among Muslims and Jews in the Holland.
In 2012, the Dutch government reached an agreement with Muslim and Jewish leaders setting certain standards for ritual slaughter, including a 40-second limit on the time between stunning of the animals before their necks are cut. The agreement also said officials will carry out research-based consultations with faith community leaders on how to balance animal welfare with religious freedoms.
The agreement was signed following the Dutch senate’s scrapping of a law passed by parliament in 2011 banning all slaughter without stunning.
New Zealand, Australia and several other European countries denying the rights of ritual slaughter by banning unstunned slaughtering. Australia reportedly allow kosher for Jewish but same time does not allow unstunned slaughter for Halal.
It is likely that the Muslims and Jewish communities in the Holland may raise much organized protest to reject new move of the government. Many Dutch Muslims of various origin considered this new development a part of Islamophobia in the Europe which is creating severe devisions among the society. Muslims and Jewish in the Holland were practicing ritual slaughtering for decades. Latest unilateral measure by the government disappointing them.