Worldlog Week 46 – 2010

19 November 2010

Last week was all about unanaesthetised ritual slaughter. During a special procedural meeting in the Lower House, our scientific office, the Nicolaas G. Pierson Foundation showed undercover images of unanaesthetised ritual slaughter. For years now the Party for the Animals has argued for anaesthesia before animals are ritually slaughtered and these images confirm the need for stupefaction.

International scientists came forward in the undercover recordings to argue for the application of stupefaction during animal slaughter. Dr E. Lambooij, who is attached to the University of Wageningen, was present during the procedural meeting and indicated: "The images shown do not differ from what I saw in the ritual slaughterhouses, even when I announced myself and was visible as a witness." The images of unanaesthetised ritual slaughter were recorded using a hidden camera in different slaughterhouses in the Netherlands and Belgium. They show how sheep, cows, goats, chickens and rabbits are slaughtered without anaesthesia by slitting their throats. Next, the animals are hung up to 'bleed out', where they struggle and kick for a long time afterwards.

According to the current law, the unanaesthetised slaughter of animals is banned in the Netherlands, where an exception can be made for Israeli and Islamic slaughter methods. In practice, the exception means that millions of animals have their throats slit without sedation. It takes a long time for the animal to die. Scientific research has proved that not sedating animals causes severe pain, fear and stress. Animal organisations in the Netherlands and Europe are even speak of unacceptable suffering. The Party for the Animals wants the exception in the law that allows unanaesthetised slaughter to be discontinued as quickly as possible through a statutory ban. I have therefore lodged an initiative legislative proposal to ban unanaesthetised ritual slaughter in the Netherlands. This legislative proposal will be set before the Lower House this year. It seems we have a majority in parliament and so can ban this gruesome method. I believe that the freedom to perform certain rituals and traditions should be curtailed where it causes people or animals to suffer.

Ritual slaughter has already been banned in various European countries. This state of affairs is just, because there are many proper ways to stupefy animals before slaughter that agree with the values behind both religions, which are that animals should suffer as little as possible. This stupefaction is already applied on a large scale to the ritual slaughter of sheep in New Zealand.

Below are some images of unanaesthetised ritual slaughter in the Netherlands. Please note that the images are shocking and are not appropriate for children.

We have also started an e-mail campaign asking supermarkets to stop selling meat produced by unanaesthetised slaughter. In the Netherlands, the supply of meat from ritually slaughtered animals is currently much greater than the demand therefore. Plus, it is not mandatory to label ritually slaughtered meat. A portion of this unanaesthetised meat therefore winds up as "ordinary" meat in the supermarket or is exported. The consumer then faces the risk of buying meat that has been killed without sedation. We hope, with consumer's help, to make a huge step forward and to drastically reduce the supply of unanaesthetised, ritually slaughtered meat. After that, we hope to establish a complete ban on unanaesthetised ritual slaughter in the Netherlands in the law. To be continued!

See you next week!