EU Court of Justice: Slaughter without stunning on temporary sites was and will remain illegal in Belgium

Today, in the C-426/16 case, the Court of Justice of the EU ruled that Regulation 1099/2009 is valid and is respecting freedom of belief. In this case, the flemish Court of Brussels was asked to decide if the Brussels law prohibiting ritual slaughters (slaughter without prior stunning) in temporary slaughterhouses (but not in "official" slaughterhouses) was valid. The plaintif, an organisation representing muslims organisations, has estimated that this duty to use only "official" slaughterhouses was in practice infringing the freedom of beliefs of muslims in Brussels. The flemish Court of Brussels decided to hold on the litigation and refer the question to the EU Court of Justice, whose finally stated in favour of the validity of the legislation.

Today's decision is a big step for animals slaughtered every year without stunning, and will probably help the Belgian Constitutional Court to validate the similar legislation adopted by other Belgian regions (wallonia and flanders) that are currently challenged. 

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10.07.2017 The fight against slaughter without stunning under the label “Organic Farming”

‘The French association for the protection of farm animals “l’Œuvre d’assistance aux bêtes d’abattoir” (OABA) seized the Administrative Court of Appeal of Versailles, who tipped in favor of the association and questioned the slaughter without stunning in organic farming. The Court of Justice of the European Union will rule and answer the following question: "Should the applicable rules of European Union law be interpreted as authorizing or prohibiting the granting of the European organic label to meat derived from Animals, which have been slaughtered without prior stunning?’ (source: La France Agricole 10.07.201)

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EU Petition on the abolition of Council Regulation No 1099/2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing

The applicant Julita Boucher (French) has submitted a EU Petition No 1085/2014 on the abolition of Council Regulation No 1099/2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing

Summary of the Petition:

In her very detailed petition, the petitioner demands the abolition of this regulation since it authorises in its article 4 the killing of animals without prior stunning on religious grounds. According to her, this measure breaches the main purpose of the regulation, which is to protect the animals from pain and fear during the killing process. She mentions that the internal inconsistency of this regulation has already been underlined by the Economic and Social Committee1 in its opinion on the proposal of this regulation, and that it also provided modern solutions to combine religious rituals with prior stunning. She estimates it all the more regrettable as there are abuses of this derogation for ritual purposes, with a generalisation of this practice even for the meat destined to the majority of citizens (without an adequate labelling informing them of this practice), as a resolution of the Parliament stated in 2012 (art.49).2 Finally, she mentions as an example of balancing animal protection and religious practices the European Court of Human Rights case law.3



3 In particular the ruling Cha'are Shalow Ve Tsedek v. France (2000) 

Please find here the complete text:


Denmark outlaws ritual slaughter without stunning

Following Sweden and Poland, last week, Denmark outlawed slaughter without preliminary stunning. The prohibition is applying up from this week on all the Danish territory. Answering to the protest of the jewish and muslim community, Dan Joergensen, Danish Minister and also former MEP said Animal rights come before religion”.

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An EU study on the possibility of providing consumers with information on the stunning of animals

On 15th July 2013, the Council of Minister has been briefed by the Netherlands on the issue of labelling of meat from animals slaughtered without stunning. More consummer information is asked by the Netherlands, and this request has been supported by other Member States.  EU Commission answered that a study on the possibility of providing consumers with information on the stunning of animals is on-going and will be published in April 2014.

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