The lower house of the Netherlands Parliament voted overwhelmingly last night to ban the slaughter of livestock without stunning it first, removing an exemption that has allowed Jews and Muslims to butcher animals according to their centuries-old dietary rules. The Volksrant newspaper’s website said 116 members voted in favor, 30 opposed and the private member’s bill will now go to the Senate.

If enacted and enforced and procedures that make meat kosher for Jews or halal for Muslims are outlawed, religious groups say observant Jews and Muslims would have to import meat from abroad, stop eating it altogether, or leave the Netherlands.

National Public Radio of the US says New Zealand has imposed such a ban on slaughter without stunning and joined Switzerland and the Scandinavian and Baltic countries, whose bans are mostly traceable to pre-World War II anti-Semitism.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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