The Muslim and Jewish communities in Flanders have criticised a proposal by the Belgian region to ban the unstunned slaughter of small animals, which they say would contravene their rules for ritual killing.
Under the draft law, animals like Sheep and poultry will have to be stunned electrically before being killed, which most animal rights campaigners say is more humane than the Islamic halal and Jewish kosher rituals. Both require that butchers swiftly slaughter the animal by slitting its throat and draining the blood.
"Unstunned slaughter is outdated," Ben Weyts, regional minister of animal welfare, said in a statement. "In a civilised society, it is our damn duty to avoid animal suffering where possible."
The bill has broad support in the predominantly Catholic region, and the opposition from Flanders' religious minorities illustrates the difficulties facing some European countries as they struggle to integrate immigrant populations.read more
Immigrant population? See for yourself.
Judaism has a long history in Belgium, from the 1st century CE until today. The Jewish community numbered 66,000 on the eve of the Second World War but, after the war and the Holocaust, is now less than half that number." (Wikipedia)