Netherlands to Implement Stricter Rules on Halal, Kosher Slaughter to Reduce ‘Negative Effects on Animals’
The Netherlands is moving to implement stricter rules overseeing the religious slaughter of animals for meat consumption by observant Jews and Muslims, the Dutch Economic Affairs Ministry announced this week.
Once implemented, the new Dutch rules will ban the export of kosher and halal meat outside of the Netherlands, and will require all domestic religious slaughterhouses to register with the government.
Additionally, religiously slaughtered meat will have to be clearly labeled and will not be able to be sold at regular supermarket chains, according to a letter written by Junior Economic Affairs Minister Martijn van Dam and posted on the Dutch government website.
“I find the current implementation unacceptable. Negative effects on animal welfare must be minimized,” wrote Van Dam. Additionally, the junior minister said he had spoken to the leaders of religious communities, who agreed to comply with the new guidelines.
The issue surrounds the Jewish and Islamic customs of shechita and dhabiha, respectively, in which the animal is slaughtered by a single cut to the throat, rather than the more widely used method of stunning the animal with a bolt to the head.
According to Dutch News, since the animals cannot be stunned, an eye reflex test will be used instead to ensure the animals are unconscious before slaughtered.