The European Court of Justice backed a Belgium prohibition on Muslin halal and Jewish kosher animal slaughter, sparking outrage among religious groups.
It ruled in favour of a regulation already imposed in the Flemish parts of Belgium which, on animal rights grounds, prohibits the slaughter of livestock that haven’t been stunned.
The measure was seen as effectively outlawing the Muslim and Jewish practices, which require livestock to be conscious when their throats are slit.
The ruling said that the court concluded that the measures contained in the decree allowed an acceptable balance to be struck between the importance attached to animal welfare and the freedom of Jewish and Muslim believers to manifest their religion.
An umbrella organisation for Jewish groups in Belgium criticised the decision as a denial of democracy that didn’t respect the rights of minority groups.
Yohan Benizri, head of the Belgium Federation of Jewish Organisations said the fight continues, and that they’ll not accept defeat until they’ve exhausted all their legal remedies, which was not yet the case.
Rabbi Menachem Margolin, chairman of the European Jewish Association, said the ruling represented a sad day for European Jewry and he said it was a terrible message to send to European Jewry that these practices were not welcome there, and that was a fundamental denial of their rights as European citizens.
Belgium’s Flanders regional government issued the order in 2017 which took effect in 2019 that abattoirs must stun livestock before slaughtering them.
Animal rights activists had pushed for the ban, arguing that stunning animals so they’re unconscious when they’re killed was more humane.
The argument was made by the authorities in Belgium that the measure would ease their suffering but it was widely perceived as being targeted at the Muslin halal tradition.
Traditionally, halal meat is killed by hand when a blade is used to cut the front of the animal’s throat and is blessed by a slaughterman.
For food to be halal it must be alive before it’s killed and blood must be drained from its body.
Judaism limits the foods its followers can consume, one restriction being how meat is slaughtered.
A specially trained person, known as Schochet should perform the procedure and the animal is slaughtered with a knife in a single unbroken movement across the throat.
Stunning an animal is a swift death – a bolt to the brain which takes a millisecond, rather than cutting the animals throat and hanging it upside down to dry.
The animal is stunned so they don’t suffer the agony of having their throats cut.
Anaesthetic hadn’t been invented when the rules were laid down, now they have been. You wouldn’t have surgery without them, so why should animals?
It’s high time human beings evolved because it’s medieval to inflict this type of suffering on animals which is utterly cruel and inhumane.
However, when they do give them a bolt through the head, is the animal inspected to see if they’re dead before they butcher them to death?
This seems barbaric cutting an animals throat and draining it of blood, but this was practised over thousands of years go but we’ve progressed since those dark days and have now found a more humane way of killing animals and it will still taste the same.
But saying that, these are the scientific facts.
A team at the University of Hanover in Germany examined the claims through the use of EEG and ECG records during slaughters.
Several electrodes were surgically embedded at different points in the skull of the animals used in the experiment and they were permitted to recuperate for several weeks.
Some of the animals were subsequently slaughtered the halal way by making a swift, deep incision with a sharp blade on the neck, cutting the jugular veins and carotid arteries of both sides together with the trachea and oesophagus but leaving the spinal cord intact.
The rest were stunned before slaughter using a captive bolt pistol method as is customary in Western slaughterhouses.
The EEG and ECG recordings allowed the monitoring of the state of the brain and heart throughout.
With the halal method of slaughter, there was no shift in the EEG graph for the first three seconds after the incision was made, indicating that the animal didn’t feel any pain from the cut itself – this isn’t surprising because often if we cut ourselves with a sharp implement, we don’t notice until some time later.
The following three seconds were characterised by a condition of deep sleep, like unconsciousness brought about by the draining of large quantities of blood from the body – thereafter the EEG registered a zero reading, indicating no pain at all, yet all the time the heart was still beating and the body convulsing vigorously as a reflex reaction of the spinal cord.
It’s this stage which is most distasteful to onlookers who are falsely convinced that the animal suffers whilst its brain doesn’t register any sensual messages.
Using the Western method, the animals were apparently unconscious after stunning, and this form of dispatch would appear to be much more peaceful for the onlooker. However, the EEG readings indicated extreme pain immediately after stunning.
Whereas in the first example, the animal ceases to feel pain due to the brain starvation of blood and oxygen – brain death. So, to put it in laymen’s terms, the second instance first causes a stoppage of the heart while the animal still feels pain.
However, there are no unsightly convulsions, which not only means that there’s more blood retention in the meat, but also that this method lends itself much more conveniently to the efficiency demands of modern mass slaughter procedures because it’s much easier to dispatch an animal on the conveyor belt if it doesn’t move.
So, when you’re next eating your Sunday roast, was the animal on your plate bolted or drained of blood!