The Flanders region of Belgium has put into effect a proposed ban on Kosher and Halal meat on new year’s day.

The new ruling is set to reportedly effect the prices of meat and possibly lead to food shortages among minority communities. Belgium is home to half a million Muslims and over 30,000 Jews, raising questions of xenophobia in the region and the future of its communities. 

Measures for the ban were passed back in July 2017 despite significant protests from community leaders. The decision follows the concerns of animal rights campaigners saying that Kosher and Halal methods are inhumane. However, many believe that the ban went into full motion due to antisemitism and Islamophobia. 

In the Flanders region,  by law animals are only allowed to be electrically stunned before slaughter.  But the question on some people’s lips is how this is more humane than Kosher or Halal meat? 

Apparently, knocking an animal out in a batch chain line for the sake of product efficiency is more humane. Many have debated over the centuries that the Kosher and Halal method is in fact the most humane way to slaughter cattle, poultry and other meats. 

Surely if lawmakers wanted to make things humane, then all forms of slaughter would be banned. All this has done is created more divide in the country and fear for religious freedom.

A study on Halal vs stunning method that took place in Germany involved attaching electrodes to animals in order to study their brain waves when they were slaughtered. The experiment concluded that the Halal method in fact caused less pain to the animal than stunning. 

After another Belgian region will implement this rule later in the year, Brussels will be the only place where Halal and Kosher methods can be legally used. This will surely effect many local businesses among minorities.


Photo by Maria Molinero on Unsplash

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