ANSA (Association of Non Stun Abattoirs) has expressed dismay at the decision of the Dutch lower parliament to pass a law that would ban ritual slaughter in accordance with both Jewish law, known as shechita, and Muslim law, known as halal.
ANSA spoke person Mohammed Saleem said “This is a retrograde step that contravenes Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights which provides all citizens a right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. It is against all concepts of democracy, tolerance and freedom of rights. It absolutely sends the wrong message about Europe to the rest of the world, and especially the Muslim world. In a time of worldwide upheaval and troubled relations between the West and Muslims, this is a dangerous move that could provoke a backlash. Politicians especially need to exercise their democratically given powers with much more care and attention to consequences.”
Islamic and Jewish law commands humane treatment of animals and both, Jewish and Muslim ritual slaughter has been proved to be amongst the most humane methods of slaughter. There is an abundance of scientific evidence proving this method to be comparatively less painful and stressful for the animal. Amongst others, Dr. Stuart Rosen of Imperial College in London in his 2004 peer-reviewed paper, “Physiological Insights Into Shechita,” has stated that “shechitah is a painless and humane method of animal slaughter.”
At the same time there still remains a debate about the effects of stunning, and there is valuable and weighty evidence that shows animal suffering is needlessly increased when subjected to stunning.
It seems this decision is based more on political considerations and emotions, rather than on scientific evidence. ANSA urges all concerned to consider the evidence before jumping to premature conclusions.
ANSA would also like to state that it stands ready to provide the Muslim and Jewish communities in the Netherlands any assistance in this matter that they may require.
The Association of Non Stun Abattoirs is the UK’s only Muslim umbrella body for exclusively non-stun Halal meat and poultry suppliers.
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