Religious slaughter without stunning must remain an exemption
Posted on 15/05/2012
Eurogroup welcomes the note presented by the Swedish delegation to the Council of the European Union on the enforcement of the general requirement to stun animals before slaughter. The issue was raised during this week’s Agriculture and Fisheries Council Meeting in Brussels.
According to EU legislation, animals shall only be killed after being stunned, except for religious reasons when Member States allow it. Recently, the European Commission acknowledged an abnormal use of this derogation in some Member States resulting in most animals being killed without stunning. For that reason, Sweden took the opportunity to raise this extremely concerning issue and calls on the European Commission to put the excessive use of slaughter without stunning at a higher priority.
Sweden also suggests the development of guidelines for best practice based on scientific evidence. In addition, the European Commission is expected to publish a report on labelling in 2013. Sweden recognises that labelling could help consumers identify the meat coming from animals killed without stunning and for whom concerns have been significantly growing in that regard lately.
Eurogroup therefore urges the European Commission and Member States to take immediate action on the issue as the Swedish note suggests and make sure that the slaughtering of animals in the EU is limited to religious customers only.