The Dutch Parliament has passed legislation outlawing any form of slaughter where animals are not stunned prior to killing, leading to calls of discrimination from Jewish and Muslims community leaders.
The bill was passed with a majority of 116 out of 150 votes in the lower house and states that religion cannot be a reason in itself to allow slaughter without stunning.
Muslims and Jews in The Netherlands have rallied against the ban while in the wider Jewish world an editorial in the Jerusalem Post compared the ban to the Nazi’s ban on the “shechita”, or religious slaughter without stunning, in 1933.
In a compromise to allow the bill to pass the senate the government has said Muslims and Jews have a year to prove un-stunned animals slaughtered according to religious law don’t experience more pain than stunned animals.
New slaughter system
A new electrical stunning device, which renders chickens unconscious without the use of a waterbath, has been developed in The Netherlands to meet the requirements of legislation regarding stunning of birds.
The system, developed by TopKip, can be easily fitted to existing slaughter lines and ensure birds remain unconscious until they have died, meeting EU guidelines and Dutch domestic legislation.