21 December 2012
Janusz Wojciechowski (ECR)
Article 4(4) of the regulation permits ritual slaughter only when it is prescribed by a religious community in a given country. Is ritual slaughter also permissible in cases where animals are killed to produce meat for export?
Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission
Article 4(4) of Regulation (EC) No 1099/2009(1) on the protection of animals at the time of killing foresees a derogation from the general principle that animals shall only be killed after stunning, for animals subject to particular methods of slaughter prescribed by religious rites provided that the slaughter takes place in a slaughterhouse.
The export of meat of animals having been killed according to a method of slaughter prescribed by religious rites is not prohibited by the regulation. However, like any derogation, Article 4(4) has to be interpreted in a narrow way taking into account the objectives of the regulation, which are in line with Article 13 TFEU, as well as the freedom of religion and the right to manifest religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance, as enshrined in Article 10 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.
(1) OJ L 303, 18.11.2009.