French Police Seize Dozens of Sheep Hidden in Garage Ahead of Islamic Ritual Slaughter Festival

A herd of sheep passes by cafes in Aubervilliers, north of Paris, on June 13, 2018 as part

French police in the heavily migrant populated suburbs of Paris have seized 32 sheep that were found in the garage of a pizzeria ahead of the Islamic Eid al-Adha festival in which Muslims sacrifice animals.

The animals were found in the commune of Drancy, which is located in the heavily migrant populated Seine-Saint-Denis suburbs to the north of Paris which have become well-known for having a large Muslim population. The seized sheep were taken to an animal shelter in Chailly-en-Brie, Le Parisien reports.

While adherents of the Islamic faith are allowed to engage in ritual halal slaughter for Eid al-Adha, by French law they must do so in a controlled environment at a recognized slaughterhouse both for hygiene reasons and to combat potential animal cruelty.

The discovery was not the only one of hidden sheep intended to be slaughtered over the Islamic festival. In Clichy-sous-Bois and Montfermeil, police were tipped off by the association for the defence of animals and found five more sheep located at three separate addresses.

Police also arrested a man earlier this week after he had illegally shot two sheep.

The slaughter of animals in connection with the festival has also been the subject of controversy in neighbouring Belgium, with two of the country’s three regions banning slaughter without having the animal stunned beforehand.

The region of Brussels, where the notorious suburb of Molenbeek is located, has so far declined to join Flanders and Wallonia in banning the slaughter leading to criticism from animal rights campaigners.

In the UK, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty Animals (RSPCA) has spoken out against halal slaughter practices and advocating that all animals should be stunned before slaughter.

The RSPCA slammed the UK government this week for relaxing laws on slaughter methods accusing the government of trying to increase sales of UK halal products to Saudi Arabia.

“This [deal with Saudi Arabia] is very disappointing news. Non-stun slaughter causes serious suffering for animals,” said Marc Cooper, the head of the RSPCA’s farm animal department and added, “To minimise unnecessary animal suffering, we believe it should follow other European nations and ban the export of meat from non-stunned animals.”

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)



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