European Jewish Congress
Belgian region votes to ban Shechita
Belgium
Belgian region votes to ban Shechita

The Walloon Parliament in southern Belgium voted unanimously to ban the slaughter of unstunned animals, a requirement for both kosher and halal religious slaughter.

Only two Labour Party lawmakers in the 75-member plenum in Belgium’s largest region abstained in the vote on Wednesday, La Libre Belgique reported.

Earlier this month, the environment committee of the Walloon Parliament voted unanimously for the ban, which will take effect on September 1, 2019. Similar legislation has been proposed by the parliament in the northern Belgium Flanders or Flemish region. The federal kingdom of Belgium comprises those two regions and the capital, Brussels.

Shechitah, the religious method of slaughtering animals for meat, requires they be conscious when their throats are slit by an extremely honed special knife which kills in seconds — a practice that critics say is cruel but which advocates insist is more humane than mechanised methods used in non-kosher abattoirs. Muslims slaughter animals in a similar method, albeit with fewer restrictions, to produce halal meat.

The move in the Walloon region, which has only a few hundred Jews, follows an agreement in March that imposes limitations on religious slaughter in the Flemish region, where half of Belgium’s Jewish population of 40,000 people live. The remaining 20,000 live in the Brussels region.

Click here to read the full article in Arutz Sheva

Thursday, May 18, 2017
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Belgian Jews regret decision of Flanders parliament to outlaw Shechita
The umbrella organisation of Belgian Jews has regretted the decision of the Parliament in the northern region of Flanders to outlaw the slaughter of non-stunned animals, thereby joining the southern parliament in the Wallonie region in effectively banning Shechita.
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