Dutch MPs support unstunned slaughter ban

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To the disappointment of Jewish and Muslim organisations, parliament voted Tuesday in favour of banning the unstunned ritual slaughter of animals. The final count from MPs was tallied at 116 ballots for and 30 against the move.

Animals are killed using ritual slaughter techniques to obtain kosher and halal meats. Jewish and Mulsim representatives argued that animals do not suffer more in the process than by methods used in traditional slaughterhouses. 

Christian Democrats and the small, right-wing religious party, SGP were both against the ban, calling it an infringement of the right to religious freedom. The Labour Party and the anti-Islam PVV were among the dissenting voters.  

Animal Rights Party MP Marianne Thieme defended the ban, which she initiated. “This is a huge milestone,” she said, adding that although it may be difficult for religious groups, “Animal welfare is paramount. It is absolutely not a religious issue.”

The legislation now awaits a vote from the senate.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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