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Abattage rituel

The Portuguese legislation does not establish any specific regulation for the religious slaughter of animals. In fact, article 26 of the Law on Religious Freedom remits to legal provisions relevant to the protection of animals when regulating religious slaughter of animals. According to it : “the religious slaughter of animals must comply with the applicable legal provisions concerning the protection of animals”.

These legal provisions are the ones in law 28/96 and that transpose into national law Council Directive 39/119/EC on the protection of animals at the time of slaughter or killing. Law 28/96 defines slaughter – causing the death of an animal (i.e. non-human living being) by bleeding – (art. 2), protects animals from any avoidable pain or suffering – setting the requirements applicable to slaughterhouses (arts. 3 and 4) –, and determines the minimum knowledge and skill necessary to perform the tasks humanely and efficiently (art. 7) – this must be ensured by the competent authority.

In Portugal, the Food Safety and Economic Authority (ASAE), dependent on the Ministry of Economy, is responsible for controlling the slaughter of animals outside approved establishments. These legal provisions are regulated by law 28/84 and by its many amendments (the most recent is law 20/2008). Law 28/84 forbids the slaughtering of animals outside approved establishments if these animals are destined for public consumption. Non-compliance with this law constitutes a crime against public health. The law also determines that ritual slaughter must comply with three essential conditions : it must be approved by sanitary inspection ; slaughterhouses or enclosures intended for that purpose need to be licensed by the competent authorities ; animal species must be the ones usually used for human consumption (art. 22) and the slaughter must be in compliance with specific technical requirements (art. 57). Ministerial order 699/2008 also establishes that, apart from slaughter, evisceration, and skinning, other carcass preparation is allowed (art. 6/2).

Other specific legal dispositions regarding the control and inspection of slaughtered meat by the ASAE and the General Directorate of Food and Veterinary Medicine, dependent on the Ministry of Agriculture, are established by law 207/2008.

D 12 novembre 2018    AHelena Vilaça AJorge Botelho Moniz

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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