Dutch vote bans ritual slaughter

European Jewish groups slammed a decision by the lower house of the Dutch parliament to ban the ritual slaughter of animals, with one threatening to take legal action.

European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor said last week that his organization could take legal action to prevent the ban, saying that it violates Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights, the right to freedom of religion.

“This is a dark day for the Jewish community,” Kantor said. “This could serve as a terrible precedent for other parts of Europe and tells the Jews that they and their customs are no longer welcome.”

Under the bill passed June 28, animals are required to be stunned before slaughter. Both Jewish and Muslim ritual slaughter must be performed while the animal is fully conscious. The upper house still must approve the measure. Some 40,000 Jews and about 1 million Muslims live in the country. — jta