Despite protests from Muslims and Jews living in the Netherlands, the Dutch parliament has passed legislation which requires the humane slaughtering of livestock. If the Dutch Senate also passes the bill, the Netherlands will join Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, New Zealand, and Luxembourg in banning the religiously-motivated practice of slaughtering animals without first stunning them.
According to an article published by Radio Free Europe (RFE), “religious groups would be allowed to get an exception from the ban if they can scientifically prove their slaughter methods are less painful to animals than preliminary stunning”— but the ability of Muslims and Jews to demonstrate that halal and kosher practices are less painful for the animals is in doubt, given that they require, in the words of the RFE story, “an animal to be conscious at the time of death.”
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Photo: A package of halal-certified (note green label on the package) frozen food from China.