The verdict follows a denial of approval for temporary slaughterhouses in Belgium’s Flemish region during Islamic Eid al-Adha festival. Several Muslim groups said the denial infringed their right to religious freedom.
The European Court of Justice on May 29 ruled that ritual slaughter of animals without stunning must be done only in approved slaughterhouses. The verdict follows a denial of approval for temporary slaughterhouses in Belgium’s Flemish region during Islamic Eid al-Adha festival.
The EU top court’s ruling is disappointing for several Muslim organisations and mosques, who had argued that the requirement infringed their right to religious freedom since there were not enough approved slaughterhouses to meet the high demand during festivals.
As reported by Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany’s international broadcaster, the court ruled that the law that limits ritual slaughter to approved slaughterhouses does not violate religious freedom. Also, the fact that there are not enough slaughterhouses to meet the high demand was Belgium’s internal problem.
According to a 2009 EU regulation, animals must be stunned before being slaughtered. The law, however, makes an exception in the case of ritual slaughters provided such slaughters are carried out in approved slaughterhouses.