Muslims Slaughter Sheep in Middle of French Street for Islamic Festival

Two sheep in a meadow. One with a white head and another with a black head
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Police arrested four men in Nantes after they allegedly slaughtered a pair of sheep in the middle of a street during the Islamic Eid al-Adha festival.

The four men were taken into custody on Tuesday at around 11:25 a.m. in the Bellevue district of Nantes and are suspected of slaughtering two sheep in public in violation of French law, which states only official slaughterhouses may engage in any animal slaughter.

According to a police source who spoke to Ouest France, the men hung the animals on a fence in the middle of the street to “eviscerate them more easily”.

The men are also alleged to have told the police that the sheep could not have been in any pain during the slaughter because they were turned towards Mecca as they were being killed.

The suspects claim they bought the animals from a farmer. A third sheep was later discovered alive in a van and was handed over to an association that deals with animal welfare.

The men in the case could face a fine of up to €15,000 (£12.8k/$17.6k)  and six months in prison for their actions.

The case comes just a year after another Muslim man in the city of Nice filmed himself illegally slaughtering a sheep in his bathtub and posted the video on social media.

Populist National Rally politician Philippe Vardon brought attention to the video, which had been shared over 1,000 times, saying: “Each year the eid al-Adha is the occasion of sordid scenes, now shared with pride on social networks.”

France’s neighbour Belgium has also had issues with unlawful animal killings around the Eid Al-Adha festival, with Brussels authorities claiming to have found 460 sheep carcasses on the city’s streets last year, despite home slaughter being illegal.

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


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