Criminal probe into Muslim sheep-slaughter ritual
19 April 2005, BRUSSELS – Brussels prosecutors have launched an investigation into sheep slaughtering at the annual Muslim Eïd al Ahda feast in response to complaints from animal rights activists, Le Soir newspaper reported Tuesday.
19 April 2005
BRUSSELS – Brussels prosecutors have launched an investigation into sheep slaughtering at the annual Muslim Eïd al Ahda feast in response to complaints from animal rights activists, Le Soir newspaper reported Tuesday.
In January five Brussels communes – Anderlecht, Ixelles, Molenbeeck, Schaerbeek and Bruxelles-Ville – opened some temporary abattoirs with capacity for 2,050 animals.
But animal-rights group Gaia launched a complaint with Brussels authorities that people were also slaughtering animals illegally in their homes.
Eïd al Ahda, or Feast of Sacrifice, is the most important feast of the Muslim calendar.
The three-day festival concludes the annual pilgrimage to Mecca and commemorates Ibraham’s (Abraham’s) willingness to obey God by sacrificing his son.
The festival re-enacts Ibraham’s obedience by sacrificing a cow or ram. Normally, the family eats a third of the meat and donates the rest to the poor.
In response to the complaints, Brussels police have sent out questionnaires to several Muslims asking questions about their activities during Eïd al Ahda.
Respondents for example will have to explain exactly how they transported the sheep, and what they did with the waste afterwards.
The annual slaughter ritual is allowed by law but only in abbatoirs authorised by public health authorities. In addition, the transport of living animals is only allowed by officially recognized abbatoir breeders.
Belgian royal prosecutor, Paul de Gryse, said that he will not draw any conclusions before getting all the relevant information, but his main concern is that no one falls ill as a result of a violation on hygiene rules.
“I want to find a solution that will be suitable for everyone before the next festival,” he said.
[Copyright Expatica 2005]
Subject: Belgian News