A ban on halal and kosher slaughter in Denmark started on Monday, Danish Agricultural and Food Minister Dan Jorgensen has announced.
To be considered halal under Islamic law or kosher under Jewish law, animals have to be conscious when slaughtered. However, the new regulation, which is in line with other countries in Europe, states that animals must be stunned before being killed. Jorgensen said that it is time animals rights were put before religion.
Non-profiting monitoring group Danish Halal has condemned the ban, describing it as an interference in religious freedom. The organisation claimed it limits the rights of Jews and Muslims in Denmark to practice their religion.
Meanwhile, Israeli Deputy Minister of Religious Services Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan has reportedly said the ban is an example of anti-Semitism in Europe, which he claimed is intensifying in some governments.
However, the Danish Jewish community president Finn Schwartz disagreed that the new regulation was anti-Semitic, noting that the relationship between the government and the Jewish community was “perfect”. He also alleged that kosher slaughter has not taken place in Denmark for more than a decade.