(Rotterdam-NewsHalal, Jumada Al-Akhir 1, 1437, March 10, 2016) Information Office HalalFood in Netherlands rejected new government rules on Halal slaughtering saying quality of halal slaughter can be better developed with adherence to correct ritual slaughtering and by listening to the voices from the consumers and slaughter houses.
Halal Consultant and organizer of Information office HalalFood in Netherlands issued following statement protesting new government rules.
Netherland`s State Secretary on Economic Affairs Martijn van Dam reported a plan to the lower house of the parliament to tighten control on ritual slaughter in the country.
According to the new legislation, un-stunned Halal meat can be used within Dutch market but meat exporters will as a consequence, not be allowed to export Halal meat any more.
Dutch Safety Food Authority (NVWA) will constantly monitor the slaughter which will higher the meat price of un-stunned slaughter meat at the market.
Another issue is that the Halal un-stunned slaughter meat must be clearly labeled as halal so that ritual slaughter aspect can be known to the consumers.
The Voorlichtingsbureau Halalvoeding ( Information Office HalalFood www.ikeethalal.nl) didn’t agree with most of the rules outlined by the authorities and offered alternatives and other solutions in her letter.
International laws and basic human rights legislations in European Union assures guarantee for the freedom of religion and exercise of faith in due course. But the new rules planned for implementation by the Dutch authorities violating basic human rights, freedom of faith, mutual respect of cultures and consumer rights.
It would be worthy to mention that the ritual slaughter is a centuries old life style of people belongs to Islamic faith. It was also exercised in Dutch Muslim communities for decades without any interference of government or local authorities.
Next year, according to the state secretary, the new rules will be implemented in Holland.
We expect that the meat sector in the country will also launch protest as their exports would be paralyzed after implementation of new rules.
Van Dam says that the “current practice is not acceptable” to the House. But there is a fact that also must be conveyed to the House and all respected members of the house that most stunned or mechanical slaughtered meat in the Holland would be doubtful if allowed to be sold as a Halal according to Voorlichtingsbureau Halalvoeding. Thus it will generate distrust about the Dutch products not at home but also internationally that may hurt country economy.
The new rules are a further development of the agreements that former state secretary Henk Bleker in 2012 joined with religious organizations to improve animal welfare at slaughter without affecting religious practices. Post stunning is also unnecessary and inhumane thus making the meat non-Halal is not just a Muslim consumers concern but also a bigger lost of business for slaughter houses and meat sellers. Best way is to regulate the quality un-stunned slaughter in stead of unnecessary stunning.
Voorlichtingsbureau Halalvoeding wrote a letter to the scientific committee of the Lower House to represent the consumers in the Netherlands. We explained from scientific evidence that stunning doesn’t mean better animal welfare than un-stunned slaughter.
The news that the Halal meat export from Holland would be forbidden is a shock. Also the post stunning is unnecessary. We believe that the quality of halal slaughter can be better developed with adherence to correct ritual slaughtering and by listening to the voices from the consumers and slaughter houses.
Mariam Aaras, halalconsultant