Animal rights groups have reacted with outrage at a European Union ruling earlier this week protecting Jewish and Muslim methods of slaughtering animals.
Jews practise a form of ritual slaughter called shechita, while Muslims practise dhabiha. Neither will have to involve stunning the animal before slaughter under the ruling, a factor many animal rights advocates consider objectionable.
The new EU rules require all slaughter techniques to make sure animals do not suffer “any avoidable distress or pain”, but they make an explicit exception for “cultural traditions and religious rites”.
It means there will now be a requirement for kosher and halal food to be traded and sold freely in every EU state.
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