Total ban on slaughter without stunning proposed in Belgium


(Brusseles-NewsHalal, Jumada Al-Akhir 9, 1437, March 18, 2016) A Flemish Parliamentarian in Belgium urging to impose a total ban on un-stunned slaughtering raising worries among Muslims and Jewish communities in the country as both group lives by their religious obligations which emphasize on un-stunned slaughtering of animals and poultry. Muslims around the world, traditionally consume Halal Foods as per religious requirement for over fourteen centuries.

“No animal may be slaughtered without stunning still, even in approved slaughterhouses” as Flemish Parliamentarian and member of Green Party Hermes Sanctorum brought the first bill for such a total ban that will really be tuned. Muslim communities in Belgium and Netherlands voicing serious concerns against growing moves to ban un-stunned slaughter of poultry and cattle. 

“The slaughter without stunning is clearly forbidden,” the bill reads by Flemish Parliamentarian, Minister for Welfare ben weyts (N-VA ) introduced in 2015 already a ban on slaughter without temporary slaughter floor during the annual Feast of Sacrifice, but in approved slaughterhouses should it throughout the year. The N-VA’er themselves have already expressed a total ban. But so far no one had effectively made a proposal to ban the practice completely. The Green party however has now become divided internally on the issue since there are many opponents of the bill.

“The file is already in a stalemate for years. Each party does have an electoral reason to submit a ban, let alone vote,” Sanctorum reportedly said. So in our country according to sociologist Jan Dukes there are 719,620 Muslims, a group of potential voters. That number would double by 2050. N-VA chairman Bart De Wever and Antwerp mayor also has a large Jewish community in his city, where his party usually like to get a favor.

The new bill in Belgium for a total ban on slaughter without stunning even in the approved slaughter houses becomes a critical issue in Belgium as well as Netherlands.

If such a controversial bill approved in the parliament, it will be a matter of weeks for the government to implement it. But analyst in the meat sector, expressing deep concerns for declining trade. Some Muslim consumers in Belgium argue that under the disguise of animal welfare, lawmakers are moving on their political agendas.

Even parties that call before for a total ban on un-stunned slaughter, they are struggling to avoid the issue to gain political support.

Hermes Sanctorum is the son of cultural philosopher Johan Sanctorum. Sanctorum is bio-engineer and doctorate on dioxins in 2009 at the Free University of Brussels, where he worked for five years as a researcher.

In his former home Overijse he was from 2001 until the end of 2006 councilor. In 2006 he was re-elected as councilor, but he resigned in 2008 because of his move to Herent.

Since 2009 Hermes Sanctorum represented Green in the Flemish Parliament, where he serves on the committee for environment, nature, land use and property. He is also an alternate member of the commission in Brussels. In 2014 he was re-elected. Since 2015 he has been a state senator member of the Belgian Senate to succeed Wouter Van Besien.