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  • Draft regulation on ritual slaughter

In early October 2012, the Dutch Agriculture Minister, Henk Bleker, signed a draft regulation governing the use of ritual slaughter in the Netherlands. The decree provides for animals to be knocked out 40 seconds after having their throat slit and in particular defines the size of knife to be used. This text follows several months of discussion and attempts at regulation and ought to be submitted to the Council of Ministers by the end of the year.

In 2011, a large majority of the lower chamber of the Dutch Parliament had passed a law introduced by the Party for the Rights of Animals (PvdD), which was seeking a total ban on ritual slaughter in the Netherlands.

The senate, however, rejected this text in late 2011, arguing that the law violated the right to religious freedom. The government therefore sought a compromise between the different parties and a preliminary agreement ahead of the decree was signed in June 2012 between organizations representing Jewish (NIK) and Muslim (CMO) communities and the Association of Abattoirs and Meat Producers (VSV).

For further information, see the text of the agreement of 5 June 2012 (Convenant onbedwelmd slachten volgens religieuze riten, in Dutch)

D 14 November 2012   

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