Since 2019, citing concerns related to animal welfare, Belgium has outlawed the killing of animals for food without first stunning them. This law has created difficulties for religious Jews and Muslims, who now must import frozen meat from outside the country. As Eddy Wax writes, the ban may also contribute to a mischaracterization of religious communities as “medieval.”
“The discussion itself puts the Jews and also the Muslims in this case into a corner of ‘you do harm to animals,’ or ‘you are medieval,’” said [the EU official] Katharina von Schnurbein . . . on Wednesday at the European Jewish Community Center in Brussels.
The bans were challenged by religious groups but upheld by the Court of Justice of the EU in late 2020, in a surprising decision that said EU countries could restrict no-stun slaughter to promote animal welfare without infringing religious rights. . . . Bans are permissible provided countries do not contravene the EU’s charter of fundamental human rights, the court ruled.
“In some countries, we have seen also that this was only the start, and then the discussion about circumcision was next,” von Schnurbein said.