The Italian populist League party, led by firebrand Matteo Salvini, has introduced legislation that would ban ritual halal slaughter, arguing that animals should be respected and protected from suffering.
The new laws will end loopholes currently in place in the country’s animal welfare legislation that allows Muslims exemptions for ritual halal slaughter, Il Giornale reports.
Should the new laws, which will also force producers to properly label all halal and ritually slaughtered products, pass and come into effect it would see Italy join a host of other European countries such as Poland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Lithuania, Belgium, and Switzerland which have also either restricted or banned religious slaughter.
In Belgium, the practice is banned in both Wallonia and in Flanders but the region of Brussels has not passed laws restricting halal or kosher slaughter and sees such slaughters taking place over the Islamic holiday Eid al-Adha.
Belgium Bans Halal Slaughter, But Muslims in Capital Brussels Are Exempt https://t.co/fMGctYBMhG
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France is one European Union member state in which halal slaughter is legal as long as it is done under the supervision of a qualified professional. Despite it being legal, French police have still found underground slaughterhouses used for Eid al-Adha.
Earlier this year, police in the heavily migrant populated Paris suburbs of Seine-Saint-Denis rescued 32 sheep from the garage of a pizza restaurant and other investigators made similar discoveries across the area, even arresting one man for illegally shooting two sheep to death.
Similar cases also occurred in London with a Muslim family caught on video killing animals in their backyard by neighbours in August of this year during Eid al-Adha. Julia McClenaghan, a local resident complained about the slaughter saying: “It seems one of the least hygienic places to prepare meat, and they were using an old rag to wipe their tools.”