Greece has banned kosher and halal slaughter. The country’s top administrative court, the Hellenic Council of State, announced the ban deeming them “inhumane”. Kosher and halal preparations of animals are central to Jewish and Muslim religious practices.
Both of these slaughter rituals require animals to be killed without the use of anesthesia. The Panhellenic Animal Welfare and Environmental Federation asked the court to revoke an exemption in a rule that allowed religious slaughtering without anaesthesia.
The courts found that the religious preparation of animal products did not outweigh the suffering of those animals welfare, and that the exemption was a breach of the law’s provision that animals be slaughtered under anaesthetic. The court has delegated regulation of the relationship between animal rights and religious freedom to the government, and they will oversee the country’s slaughterhouse practices.
Several Jewish people have spoken out against the court’s decision, calling it a violation of their religious freedom. “Jewish freedom of religion is under direct attack across Europe from the very institutions that have sworn to protect our communities,” said Rabbi Menachem Margolin, Chairman of the European Jewish Association.