Dutch upper house rejects ban on ritual slaughter
The Dutch upper house, the Senate, on Tuesday rejected a bill that would have banned the ritual slaughter of animals and had been criticized by both Muslim and Jewish groups. The bill, proposed by the small Party for the Animals, stipulates that livestock must be stunned before being slaughtered, contrary to Muslim halal and Jewish kosher laws, which require animals to be conscious.
The lower house of parliament passed the bill a year ago, leaving a loophole saying religious groups could continue ritual slaughter if they proved it was no more painful than other methods of slaughter.
Earlier this month, the Dutch government and the Jewish and Muslim communities in the Netherlands reached an agreement that asserted that animals could continue to be ritually slaughtered as long as they lost consciousness within 40 seconds of their throats being cut. After that period they would have to be stunned. (...)