The French government confirms the legality of ritual slaughter

By Marie Malzac – La croix

The French government confirms the legality of ritual slaughter Responding to a question from a French flagmember, the Ministry of Agriculture recalled on January 5 that ritual slaughter, directed by Jews and Muslims without stunning the animal, was legal and consistent with secularism.

Indeed, Jews believe that meat is not kosher if the animal was stunned before bleeding. Similarly, in the eyes of some Muslims, that principle applies to halal meat, although mosques allow electronarcosis, stunning by electricity.

The text recalls that the derogation from the obligation to stun animals, “under the free exercise of religion” is framed by the French and European law and that this possibility “does not undermine secularism.”


In its response, the Department states that “slaughter without stunning may be made after immobilization of the animal and respecting all the measures stipulated by the regulations on animal protection and food safety”.

After several controversies, a 2012 decree had set up “a system of registration to verify that the derogation is for commercial or sales orders that require it.”

“These records are made available to the slaughterhouse veterinary services, allowing them to verify the good performance of these registers and consistency between batches actually slaughtered without stunning and the existence of orders or sales actually made” the statement said.

The Agriculture Ministry also states that an action plan “specific to slaughterhouses is also being finalized”, concerning the responsibility of the operator and optimization controls. A specific component to compliance with animal welfare rules will be developed.


This response should reassure Jews and Muslims in France, which regularly concerned about the questioning of ritual slaughter.

Last December, France’s Chief Rabbi Chaim Korsia had expressed its “indignation” following the position taken by the Chairman of the order veterinarians, who asked that any animal be “deprived of consciousness in a way effective prior to the bleeding until the end of it. ”

A bill should be tabled in the spring and is being prepared. The issue of ritual slaughter remains one of the thorniest points.