Denmark Outlaws Religious Slaughtering Of Animals Over The Objections Of Muslim And Jewish Leaders

220px-ModernEgypt,_Opening_of_Luxor-Aswan_rail_line,_Album-2-BAL-00000606-0039Denmark’s Agriculture and Food Minister Dan Jørgensen has signed a new regulation that bans religious slaughter of animals. The move has outraged Jewish and Muslim leaders but Mr Jørgensen publicly declared that “animal rights come before religion.” The new law bars slaughterhouses from allowing Muslim and Jewish leaders from killing animals without first stunning them. Muslims and Jewish religions believe that God only allows for the consumption of Halal or Kosher meat that involves the slitting of the throat of animals. Animal rights advocates insist that these religious rituals are cruel to animals.

European Union regulations require stunning before slaughter, but there are exceptions for religious slaughter. A controversy arose in Demarks last year when it was revealed that Danes were being given religiously slaughtered meat without being told to protect the sensibilities of Muslim and Jewish citizens. That move disturbed many Danes who viewed the practice as medieval or cruel.

Norway, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland have also prohibited religious slaughter.

The Bible and Koran expressly warn of clean and unclear animals as well as Halal and Kosher meats.

Deuteronomy 14:3-10.
Do not eat any detestable thing. These are the animals you may eat: the ox, the sheep, the goat, the deer, the gazelle, the roe deer, the wild goat, the ibex, the antelope and the mountain sheep. You may eat any animal that has a split hoof divided in two and that chews the cud. However, of those that chew the cud or that have a split hoof completely divided you may not eat the camel, the rabbit or the coney. Although they chew the cud, they do not have a split hoof; they are ceremonially unclean for you. The pig is also unclean; although it has a split hoof, it does not chew the cud. You are not to eat their meat or touch their carcasses.

Of all the creatures living in the water, you may eat any that has fins and scales. But anything that does not have fins and scales you may not eat; for you it is unclean.

Slaughtering requires the draining of the blood, which appears to have been a health based practice but was embraced as a command of God:

Deuteronomy 12:21-25.
If the place where the Lord your God chooses to put his Name is too far away from you, you may slaughter animals from the herds and flocks the Lord has given you, as I have commanded you, and in your own towns you may eat as much of them as you want. Eat them as you would gazelle or deer. Both the ceremonially unclean and the clean may eat. But be sure you do not eat the blood, because the blood is the life, and you must not eat the life with the meat. You must not eat the blood; pour it out on the ground like water. Do not eat it, so that it may go well with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what is right in the eyes of the Lord.

In the United States, such a ban would run into serious problems with the free exercise clause. At a minimum, it would have to be shown that the religious slaughtering of animals is more cruel than the stunning technique. Religious advocates insist that, when performed properly, the religious slaughtering is fast and humane. Animal rights advocates insist that the slitting of the animal’s throat prolongs the restraint and pain of the animal.

In another story, Winn-Dixie has decided to expand its Kosher food offerings which could raise this issue with some in the animal rights community.

Source: Secularism

24 thoughts on “Denmark Outlaws Religious Slaughtering Of Animals Over The Objections Of Muslim And Jewish Leaders”

  1. Sorry for the repeat, but hell, man’s God given dominion over all of God’s creation is worth repeated bouts of blood infused celebration!

    Of course the religious rights of the celebrants of such gory glory must be respected — its the only true way of appreciating life. God says so.

  2. Non-Jews and non-Muslims are not forced to eat Kosher/Halal meat! They should butt out of other people’s business!

  3. AS a Muslim who has been slaughtering my own lamb, I , as well as others believe that the idea is to drain the animal of the blood. So the issue is less the slitting of the throat and more the guaranteeing that the process of slaughtering a healthy animal, AND of ridding it of the blood is respected. I have thus been exploring “drugging” the animal before slaughtering it, where it would either be asleep or less sensitive to the pain.
    Interestingly, with all the emphasis being put in Islam about not harming animals, you’d think more people would be open to alternative methods, but thankfully, more and more are.

  4. There has been a lot of discussion on legal blogs regarding the method of killing humans by The People of the Great State of (______) for criminal behavior. No states use the firing squad, none slit their throats. Most want the “humane” method of poisoning the human with drugs while tying them to a gurney. I wonder what the Kosher and Muslim experts would say about this.

    Maybe if you are a Jewish or Muslim defendant and get convicted of capital murder you should be killed by having your throat slit. Can the Imams and Rabbis in the blog audience chime in on this issue?

  5. These decisions which put the authority of our society as it is evolving, maturing, or however one wishes to term it, are happily received. Religion was, at one time necessary to rule and control mankind, however, if there is a god I firmly believe that it’s designs are for its creation to govern itself directly through common sense and compassion. Thank you Denmark.

  6. I’m trying to see a religious problem with stunning first and draining after. The worst of both worlds.

  7. I suppose there’s been no official response in answer to the stark contradiction exposed by the killing of giraffes because of a sufficiency of genes in a pool. There’s definitely something rotting in the state of Denmark.

  8. doglover makes no mention of protein. We do need proteins. I do not, however, disagree at all.

  9. Exploiting animals may make sense for those who have no access to fruit and vegetables, otherwise it makes no sense. Today when animals are overly fatty, filled with chemicals, and often carrying harmful bacteria, a vegan diet is preferable by far. Eating as little as possible makes one healthier, wealthier, and gives one more time for other activities. Vegetables and fruits are crisp, colorful, of varying textures and tastes, great in soups, stir fry, salads, and snacks, and come in dozens of different shapes and flavors. Try being a vegan. You’ll love the way you look and feel as well as all the money you’ll save.

  10. Well, the psychopathic wing of the Mafia certainly would stand their ground together with their religious counterparts on this one!

  11. The veal slaughterhouse with which I am familiar stuns every animal with a bolt to the forehead. And yet they meet with the approval of both Kosher and Halal officials. I guess the bleeding to death thing earns a “look the other way” treatment. And, obviously, the author of Deuteronomy never tried bacon.

  12. … animal rights come before religion.” – Dan Jørgensen

    The Earth is not our biatch no matter what any religious leader mistakenly thinks.

    We are dead without the Earth’s ecosystem being healthy.

    Let’s lose the 12th Century cultural amygdala.

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