The Dutch animal welfare party submitted draft legislation proposing to ban all slaughter of animals without stunning.
The Party for the Animals’ new bill follows the passing in 2010 of a different bill that banned the custom, which is practiced by Jews and Muslims. The anti-Islam Party for Freedom, a right-wing populist movement, and several other parties joined the 2010 legislation submitted by the left-leaning animal party.
However, in 2012 the Dutch Senate scrapped the ban, making an exception in the law that allows the production of meat for Jews and Muslims, citing freedom of worship considerations. The new bill filed by the Party for the Animals proposes to do away with the exception, the NOS broadcaster reported.
Last year, representatives of the Jewish and Muslim faiths signed a contract with the government that enshrines and regulates the slaughter without stunning of animals. In both religions, animals must be conscious when their necks are cut.
The Organisation of Jewish Communities in the Netherlands, or NIK, criticised the bill in a statement Tuesday, calling it “unacceptable and unnecessary” in light of agreements and compromises reached.
Across Europe, the Muslim and Jewish customs of ritual slaughter of animals and the circumcision of boys have come under attack in recent years by nationalists who regard them as foreign, and by liberals who view them as cruel.
In Iceland, a liberal party recently filed a bill to ban circumcision. And in Denmark, a petition favouring a ban has received 61 percent of its target of 50,000 signatures. Once the target number is reached, the petition will go up for a vote as a draft resolution in the Danish parliament. The organisers of the petition have until August to collect signatures.