Dutch ban on Jewish, Muslim butchering passes hurdle
June 28th, 2011
12:10 PM ET

Dutch ban on Jewish, Muslim butchering passes hurdle

From Eileen Hsieh, CNN

Dutch lawmakers Tuesday approved an animal-rights measure that would ban Jewish and Muslim methods of ritual slaughter, the Parliament press office said.

It must now go to the Senate for a vote, which will likely happen in September, press officer Leon Van Schie told CNN.

The Dutch Party for the Animals proposed closing a loophole in the Dutch law that allows Jews and Muslims to kill animals that have not been anesthetized first.

"The Party for the Animals believes that freedom of religion must end where animal suffering begins," leader Marianne Thieme wrote on her blog before the measure went to a vote Tuesday.

Stunning animals before butchering is not allowed by Jewish or Muslim law.

David Zwartz, the chairman of the Wellington Jewish Council, fought successfully against a similar proposal in New Zealand last year.

He said that for Jews, the Dutch measure would be "an attack on their freedom to practice their religion in a way that they have done for thousands of years."

He compared the proposal to Nazi-era laws.

"The banning of shechita was introduced as an anti-Jewish law by the Nazis in Germany three months after they came into power in 1933," said Zwartz, using the Hebrew word for Jewish ritual slaughter.

"The banning in Nazi German-occupied Poland and the Netherlands was overtly anti-Jewish, " Zwartz said.

"Freedom of religious practice is a hallmark of civilized (and most Western) societies. In New Zealand it is covered by our Bill of Rights Act. For Orthodox Jews, the eating of kosher meat is a central part of their belief," he said.

Britain's Chief Rabbi, Jonathan Sacks, traveled to the Netherlands two weeks ago to lobby against the law.

Abdulfettah Ali-Salah, the director of the Halal Correct Certification organization in the Netherlands, argued that Jewish and Muslim methods of slaughter are humane.

"They claim that ritual killing without stunning cause more pain for the animals then with stunning, but I don't agree," he told CNN.

"Many scientists even don't agree, if ritual slaughtering without stunning happens according to the right procedure," he said.

The ban could force Jews and Muslims to get their meat from other countries, he said.

"Many believers, if they are Jewish, Muslim, have to search for other alternatives - probably import from abroad and from Islamic countries," he said.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (259 Responses)
  1. Mycology

    I am Jewish, and although this affects my religion, I am glad they have passed this measure. It will keep more muslims from flooding into Europe.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
    • essence

      there is nothing better than humaness and humanity to all beings...if the muslims or jews or other meaties or anyone don't get that..then you will be held accountable, in law.We are a humanist informed society, not a religious bigoted one.AND NO, THEY ARE NOT FREE TO HURT.

      July 25, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
    • Amit-Atlanta-USA

      I commend you for accepting that. Like most Hindus I view the Jewish people with the greatest admiration, respect and compassion (for all the suffering they have undergone over 1000's of years), except on the aspect of Kosher!

      So, being a Hindu while I do eat meat (kind of reluctantly!) , I REFUSE TO EAT HALAL or KOSHER MEAT.

      Truly a great step in the protection of those unfortunate beings who have no voice. Hopefully the rest of the civilized world adopts this too.


      July 25, 2011 at 10:13 pm |
    • Yasyas

      Mycology, you represent Judaism beautifully with your intolerance.

      July 25, 2011 at 10:33 pm |
  2. Rey P

    Don't like animal get slaughtered? Then don't eat meat! It's simple. Start being a vegetarian. And then later say be kind to plants. Don't eat them too! Now start eating volcanic ash! !

    July 25, 2011 at 7:28 am |
    • Muneef

      Would they have thought this way if it was Human to eat human? Kindly scroll down to my post below...

      July 25, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
  3. EM

    "Dutch Party for the Animals" - sounds like PETA. Bunch of fanatical do-gooders who don't see the bigger picture. Nor do they understand thousads of years of tradition and history (similar to how PETA does not understand the INUIT tradition of hunting seals and whales). Kosher and Halal methods are intended to show deep respect for the animal that is being slaughtered. I agree with Dutch Jews and Dutch Muslims - this is an infringement upon their religious beliefs, and is disturbing. It is the start of a slippery slope, and perhaps an ominous portend of something much deeper and more sinister.

    July 25, 2011 at 1:07 am |
  4. Josh

    Finally, it is about time that this barbaric practice is ended. It is actually just a myth since I have a couple of Muslim friends and they say that this is the only way they can eat meat if it is killed by this practice. The strange thing is though they never question the meat in a McDonald's Big Mac which they eat on a weekly basis since we meet there for lunch every week. Hypocrites I think is the word that comes to mind.

    July 24, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
    • Emma

      Are you daft? you must realize that they are clearly not following their religion if they are eating the meat products of McDonalds in a country that is not unionized in the kosher/halal quality of its meat products? Clearly, sir, you are mistaken if that's what you believe. This article refers to those people who are in accordance with the slaughtering rituals of their religion(s). The sheer ignorance that you seem to exude is just baffling. Please, next time you decide to comment research on the topic rather than assuming you are all-knowing since "your friends" eat McDonalds.

      July 24, 2011 at 8:47 pm |
  5. evy

    poor cows TT_______TT
    heartless people who kill them.......( i am a meat eater, i just dont like it when the poor animals must suffer to become food)

    July 24, 2011 at 11:07 am |
  6. Kimimaro

    What is freedom? A concept that encompasses a myriad of contradictions and human acts with no restrictions to time. Yet, it's limitations must be bound by those of another; where this end's should not be solely by the likes of another human. For what are we but just another form of meat, that as it happens scarcely is found upon someones plate. Food for thought.

    July 24, 2011 at 8:41 am |
    • Muneef


      Well said although must point out that this form of meat will no longer be scarce on the plate the way things going on;
      In case you haven't noticed, the world is on the verge of a horrific global food crisis.  At some point, this crisis will affect you and your family.  It may not be today, and it may not be tomorrow, but it is going to happen.  Crazy weather and horrifying natural disasters have played havoc with agricultural production in many areas of the globe over the past couple of years.  Meanwhile, the price of oil has begun to skyrocket.  The entire global economy is predicated on the ability to use massive amounts of inexpensive oil to cheaply produce food and other goods and transport them over vast distances.  Without cheap oil the whole game changes.  Topsoil is being depleted at a staggering rate and key aquifers all over the world are being drained at an alarming pace.  Global food prices are already at an all-time high and they continue to move up aggressively.  So what is going to happen to our world when hundreds of millions more people cannot afford to feed themselves?
      Otherwise populations will be driven to that;

      Middle Ages
      Historical instances of widespread cannibalism are most often connected to extreme social upheavals, such as drought, plague and war, which result in devastating famine. For example, reports of cannibalism were recorded during the First Crusade, as famished Crusaders reportedly fed on the bodies of their dead opponents following the Siege of Ma'arrat al-Numan. Amin Maalouf also discusses further cannibalism incidents on the march to Jerusalem, and to the efforts made to delete mention of these from western history.

      July 25, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
  7. Muneef

    They would accept allowing every thing else except that we Muslims have our rituals;

    Where are the Advanced countries taking the world into;

    In addition to hybrid seeds,animals,humanizing cows milk and now we are exceeding limits into;


    On Friday, a group of British researchers has reported that scientists should ensure that when they inject the human genes or cells into the animals, the animals should accept these human genes. These criterions of inserting the human genes or cells into the animals help the scientists to study the effects of diseases or medicines on human bodies.

    These humanizing of animals should be carefully performed as any small mistake could lead to a disaster. The Chinese scientists have introduced human stem cells into goat fetuses and U. S. researchers have studied about the idea of creating a mouse with human brain cells.

    New rules urged on hybrid animal-human experiments;

    What will Human kind end up to be after all such experiments;
    Well those already the Quran has spoke of in these verses here;

    [2:204] Among the people, one may impress you with his utterances concerning this life, and may even call upon GOD to witness his innermost thoughts, while he is a most ardent opponent.

    [2:205] As soon as he leaves, he roams the earth corruptingly, destroying properties (The Cultivation) and lives (The Posterity). GOD does not love corruption.

    [2:206] When he is told, "Observe GOD," he becomes arrogantly indignant. Consequently, his only destiny is Hell; what a miserable abode.

    July 23, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
  8. Daniel

    "Freedom of religious practice is a hallmark of civilized (and most Western) societies. In New Zealand it is covered by our Bill of Rights Act. For Orthodox Jews, the eating of kosher meat is a central part of their belief," he said.

    Whereas the abusive slaughter of an animal without consideration for the pain experienced by that animal is a hallmark of uncivilized tribes. Therefore the Jews lose for going to bat for something they aught not to and doing so by playing the Nazi card. I don't think anyone wants to ban Kosher and Halal butchers because they hate Muslims or Jews.

    July 21, 2011 at 11:28 am |
    • Drew

      Funny you modern liberals use word "abusive" to call names against anything you don't like. What do you mean "abusive slaughter"? Lets face it any way the steer is killed to be converted into meat, is "slaughter". The ancient way the Jewish religion specified animals to be killed to be made into meat, was the most humane at the time, and has been largely copied by the later Muslim religion. The fact that there's a newer technology for killing used in "slaughter-houses" that may be faster and less painful, may be open to debate, but to call one method of killing the animal "abusive" is a weird perversion of language, as both methods murder the animal ending its life. The real deeper question here is should meat-eating be allowed?

      July 23, 2011 at 9:34 am |
  9. Muneef

    Worship in Islam is every thing a person does ;

    The concept of worship in Islam is misunderstood by many people including some Muslims. Worship is commonly taken to mean performing ritualistic acts such as prayers, fasting, charity, etc. This limited understanding of worship is only one part of the meaning of worship in Islam. That is why the traditional definition that includes almost everything in any individual's activities. The definition goes something like this, "Worship is an all inclusive term for all that Gods love of external and internal sayings and actions of a person." In other words, worship is everything one says or does for the pleasure of Allah. This, of course, includes rituals as well as beliefs, social activities, and personal contributions to the welfare of one's fellow human beings.

     [5:2] You shall cooperate in matters of righteousness and piety; do not cooperate in matters that are sinful and evil. You shall observe GOD. GOD is strict in enforcing retribution.


    July 4, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  10. Muneef



    On the authority of Abu Muhammad al-Hasan ibn 'Alee ibn Abee Taalib (r.a), the grandson of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w), and the one much loved by him, who said: I memorized from the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w): 

    "Leave that which puts you in doubt for that which does not put you in doubt
    [At – Timidhi]"

    Lessons from the Hadith

    1- It is essential to leave the doubtful things.

    2- Leaving doubtful things protects one's Deen (Religion Beliefs) because if he were to do it and it was Haram (Condemned), it would have harmed him.

    3- It is difficult to live honorably when doing the doubtful because when people see someone doing it, they will no longer respect him. 

    4- One cannot continue doing the doubtful when one knows of an alternative with certainty.

    5- Doubtful things weaken ones Imaan (Faith) and leads to indulge in haram (Condemned)  later.

    6- Halal is enough for a believer with the grace of Allah (s.w.t) so we must avoid doubtful things to protect our deen (Religion Belief)
    He is successful whose heart Allah has made sincere toward faith, whose heart He has made free from unbelief, his tongue truthful, his soul calm, his nature straight, whose ear He has made attentive and his eye observant. The ear is a funnel and the eye is a repository for what the heart learns. He is successful whose heart is made retentive. ( Tirmidhi)

    July 4, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • Muneef

      Quotes from the Holy Quran;

      You Shall Not Bear False Witness

      [4:135] O you who believe, you shall be absolutely equitable, and observe GOD, when you serve as witnesses, even against yourselves, or your parents, or your relatives. Whether the accused is rich or poor, GOD takes care of both. Therefore, do not be biased by your personal wishes. If you deviate or disregard (this commandment), then GOD is fully Cognizant of everything you do.

      [4:136] O you who believe, you shall believe in GOD and His messenger, and the scripture He has revealed through His messenger, and the scripture He has revealed before that. Anyone who refuses to believe in GOD, and His angels, and His scriptures, and His messengers, and the Last Day, has indeed strayed far astray.

      [4:137] Surely, those who believe, then disbelieve, then believe, then disbelieve, then plunge deeper into disbelief, GOD will not forgive them, nor will He guide them in any way.

      [4:138] Inform the hypocrites that they have incurred painful retribution.

      [4:139] They are the ones who ally themselves with disbelievers instead of believers. Are they seeking dignity with them? All dignity belongs with GOD alone.

      [4:140] He has instructed you in the scripture that: if you hear GOD's revelations being mocked and ridiculed, you shall not sit with them, unless they delve into another subject. Otherwise, you will be as guilty as they are. GOD will gather the hypocrites and the disbelievers together in Hell.

      July 4, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
  11. Zerova

    I'm a vegetarian, but when given a choice of which I think is more humane: Halal/Kosher (since they are almost the same) vs. the normal, tortureous way animals are killed for meat in America, I would say the Halal/Kosher way.

    A clean slit across the neck, and quick death.

    People should support halal/kosher way of getting meat. Muslim/Jewish or not.

    July 4, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • Muneef


      Do all vegetarians have good senses as yours ? Honestly tonight was watching doc-u-mentary of Mahatma Ghandi and how he considered meats to be for arising wars and vegetables for bringing peace...! Another thing in Islam if you want to go to spiritual "khilwa" that is to be alone for worship for 40 days or more and to become as spiritually sensitive,the diet should be bread,veg and olive oils...
      So it seems right that vegetarians be spiritually better and calmer..although not sure how they will manage with the cheating of animal oils, fats with the vegetarian ones...?

      July 4, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  12. Salam

    Do these animal rights campaigners know what happens when the "ritual" killing takes place? It saddens me that people would fight blindly for animal rights and forget the human health factor. These people are just like those who prefer human sacrifice over animals. Of course animals have rights and in Islam, there is animal welfare but to neglect scientific facts that prove kosher/halal meat is a really good way to kill animal without much suffering and also to drain all the blood out for a healthier meat!


    July 4, 2011 at 11:09 am |
  13. Muneef

    Think there is a silent war against believers world wide harassing them through their beliefs;

    Tajik Children Banned From Mosques
    OnIslam & Newspapers
    Saturday, 18 June 2011 10:19

    July 2, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
  14. Muneef

    Agree with the author that this a way to say you are not welcome in this country or any countries that which will follow up one by one to seek this at-t-it-ude to sub-ju-gate or to dep-ort those Jews and Muslims by depr-i-ving them their rit-u-al beliefs....

    Just want to remind those who do that to believers,that what they are doing is just like fighting God and Prophet.... 
    One day those who have beliefs and will be fought against or depr-i-ved from then shouldn't be crying for any rights of theirs when they are gone....!?

    Another thing they say "When Mice are seen departing a ship then got to know that this named ship would drown".. guess maybe the day that the Believers leave any country it would be a sign for it's drowning...
    Dutch are aware that their land is not far from being drowned being very low reclaimed lands....!!! 

    Strange to find Christians not being mentioned although understand their Old or New Testament would mention such rit-u-als ? Or are they normally do the opposite to what their Bible says since it forbid pork but still you find them eating it? Any way Christians you ought t stand beside your brothers other wise one day you will be tested and no one will stand by you.

    July 2, 2011 at 9:55 am |
  15. Muneef

    Animal cruelty is to slaughter the animal with a blunt knife or unswift skilled hands...

    Strange to see soft people here or are they hypocrites pretending? What happened to hunters who shoot an animal and then slaughter it ? Isn't that agony ? What happened to the fox hunters chasing it with dogs before shooting it or be killed by the dogs...isn't that agony...
    What happened to those who shot and slaughtered herds of buffalos just for the skin of it and to deprive the natives from there food source? Any thing about killing elephants just for the ivory and so on... Guess all are curl as much although hide that or try to deny it...! So much cruelty in the world to humans and to animals in the world that you leave behind but only chase how Muslim or Jews handle the slaughter of their livestock in the ways God commanded us to follow...Who are the vimpire here are they the ones who consumes bloodless meat or the ones who consume it bloodfull...

    July 2, 2011 at 8:11 am |
  16. Marie Kidman


    July 1, 2011 at 10:52 am |
  17. james

    It's unbelievable that this is even being debated. Of course, it's unacceptable to slaughter these animals without stunning them in advance. We need to confront these religions that won't change their barbaric practices. Traditions can be burden on true ethical development as is the case here.

    June 30, 2011 at 2:59 am |
  18. Reality

    Going beyond the topic to lay open the flaws and fictions of the Abrahamic religions:- a summary for the "reading challenged". (in all caps for posting on your refrigerator doors)







    Added details upon request.

    June 29, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
    • Harry

      please send more details to

      July 26, 2011 at 2:23 am |
  19. Marie Kidman


    June 29, 2011 at 9:47 pm |
  20. Pdg

    Such drama here. Kinda a shame this article is far from complete as well. The general scientific concensus is that ritual slaughter is more painful, I know religious people will say something different but that's just nonsense. The closing of this loophole is strictly done from an animal wellfare point of view. Also, yes the bioindustry still needs a lot more improvements as well, but I dare say it's already one of the best in the world at the moment. And there's always the choice to finally start eating biological/organic meat or go veggy. It's pretty sad a lot of people compare their own (faulty?) industry with the dutch while they don't know anything about it.

    The fact that there is a party for animals in the parliament should allready show that the dutch are way ahead of 90% of you out there on how to treat animals. And the discussion alone that this law has started makes it totally worthwhile.

    Let's hope it will start a new trend!

    June 29, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.