you're reading...
PUBLICATIONS, Structural and Cohesion Policies

Religious slaughter of animals in the EU

Copyright OZaiachin and Spirit of America- Used under licence from

Copyright OZaiachin and Spirit of America- Used under licence from

Religious texts set down traditional methods of slaughter; simply using a knife to kill the animal. The right to continue using these methods is strongly contested between members of the Jewish and Muslim faiths and animal rights activists.

Opponents of the practice feel that animals should be stunned before slaughter – standard industry practice worldwide – since this makes them unconscious and reduces the pain as they are cut and bled to death.

However, there is no definitive scientific evidence that an animal does not feel pain whilst unconscious. Indeed, a counter argument put forward is that stunning may only stop an animal displaying pain.  

While the Jews accept absolutely no stunning, some Muslims have accepted it as long as it can be shown that the animal could be returned to normal living consciousness.

EU legislation grants exceptions from stunning for religious groups, so long as animals are well treated. Proper and good treatment of animals is a basic element of both the Jewish and Muslim religious texts.

Halal meat (following Muslim practice) is produced in much greater quantities than Kosher meat (Jewish) in the EU. In some countries Halal and Kosher meat production seems to be significantly above the requirements of the respective religious populations; some is exported to other Member States.

Click here to read complete briefing



2 thoughts on “Religious slaughter of animals in the EU

  1. Halal meat is being sold in the UK market to non-religious customers and is not labelled as such. I object to Halal slaughter on both religious and animal welfare grounds and recently discovered that the normal range of meat that I regularly purchase is Halal. Please introduce legislation requiring all Halal meat to be clearly labelled.

    Posted by Sandie Jackson | July 4, 2017, 16:39


  1. Pingback: Religious slaughter: Halal, Kosher; only deference to religions makes these inhumane practises legal. « The Age of Blasphemy - December 14, 2012

Leave a Reply

Download the EPRS App

EPRS App on Google Play
EPRS App on App Store
What Europe Does For You
EU Legislation in Progress
Topical Digests
EPRS Podcasts

Follow Blog via Email

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 3,544 other subscribers

Disclaimer and Copyright statement

The content of all documents (and articles) contained in this blog is the sole responsibility of the author and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily represent the official position of the European Parliament. It is addressed to the Members and staff of the EP for their parliamentary work. Reproduction and translation for non-commercial purposes are authorised, provided the source is acknowledged and the European Parliament is given prior notice and sent a copy.

For a comprehensive description of our cookie and data protection policies, please visit Terms and Conditions page.

Copyright © European Union, 2014-2019. All rights reserved.

%d bloggers like this: