Ritual slaughter exemptions cause animal suffering and put consumers at risks
Posted on 28/02/2012
Recent debate in European media shows that consumers are being put at risk due to the widespread failure of EU slaughterhouses to respect European hygiene laws and Eurogroup is extremely concerned as animal welfare is also being compromised in the process.
Under Regulation 853/2004 on the hygiene of food of animal origin the European Union clearly lays out the hygienic process that must be carried out to prevent the spread of contaminated material and the subsequent infection of meat by bacteria and microbes. However under Annex 3 of the Regulation there is an exemption to this process if the slaughter is carried out according to a religious rite. Eurogroup is disgusted that this exemption appears to have become the norm in many parts of the EU.
This not only causes immense animal suffering and is in the main being carried out illegally. It also risks spreading dangerous and often serious illnesses across the EU putting huge numbers of consumers at risk for no reason other than economic greed by meat processors. When non-religious consumers buy and eat meat they have the right to expect that this meat is coming from an animal which has been slaughtered according to the general hygiene rules and not to be exposed to an increased risk without having been clearly informed.
Eurogroup for animals calls on all religious groups to outlaw this necessity and calls for all slaughter to be in accordance with EU law.