Belgium bans halal and kosher slaughter in one of its largest regions
Belgium's Walloon region has voted to ban halal and kosher meats.
Both Islamic and Jewish halal rituals require butchers to slit the throats of animal swiftly and drain its blood which animal right activist considers an inhumane way to kill an animal. Animal rights campaigners argue that is more humane to stun animals before killing them.
The law is likely to be implemented in September 2019 all across the Walloon region.
“This decision, in the heart of Western Europe and the center of the European Union, sends a terrible message to Jewish communities throughout our continent that Jews are unwanted," The European Jewish Congress' president, Moshe Kantor said in an interview to the independent.
"It attacks the very core of our culture and religious practice and our status as equal citizens with equal rights in a democratic society. It gives succour to antisemites and to those intolerant of other communities and faiths."
He added: “We call on legislators to step back from the brink of the greatest assault on Jewish religious rights in Belgium since the Nazi occupation of the country in World War II."
The regional minister of animal welfare in the region Ben Weyts has termed the 'Unstunned slaughter of animals to be outdated.
"In a civilized society, it is our damn duty to avoid animal suffering where possible," Ben said.
The Muslim community is also opposing the ban. The Belgian Muslim Executive told The Independent: 'Muslims are worried about whether they can eat halal food in conformity with their religious rites and beliefs.'