By Samuel Osborne, Independent – Please see amendment at the end of this article to information given.
The environment committee of southern Belgium’s Walloon Parliament voted unanimously for the ban, which will take effect on 1 September, 2019.
Both Jewish kosher and Islamic halal rituals require the butcher to swiftly slaughter the animal by slitting its throat and draining its blood, a process condemned by animal rights campaigners, who argue it is more humane to stun animals before killing them.
Similar legislation has been proposed by the parliament in the northern Flemish region.
The European Jewish Congress has strongly condemned the decision, calling it “scandalous”.
A ban on the slaughter of animals without stunning will come into effect in January 2019 in the Flemish region of Belgium, the De Morgen daily newspaper reports.
Belgium’s Muslim community said its religious council has previously expressed its opposition to stunned slaughter and there had been no change in its stance since then.
“Muslims are worried about whether they can eat halal food … in conformity with their religious rites and beliefs,” the Belgian Muslim Executive said.
Countries including Denmark, Switzerland and New Zealand already prohibit unstunned slaughter.
CORRECTION FROM THE INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPER:
A piece published on 8 May initially reported that the unstunned slaughter of animals had been outlawed in Wallonia and that kosher and halal meat had thus been banned as a consequence. In fact, while the Environment Committee of the Walloon Parliament has voted to prohibit unstunned slaughter (with a proposed start date for the ban of 1 September 2019), the plan has yet to be approved by Parliament in full plenary session. The proposal will be debated by Wallonia’s parliamentarians later this month.