June 29, 2011

Netherlands bans ritual animal slaughter and drug tourism

by Jan Harris

The Netherlands has deeply offended Muslim and Jewish communities by approving a bill banning the slaughter of animals without stunning them first.

Both Muslims and Jews require animals’ throats to be cut while they are still conscious, causing them to bleed to death quickly, in order to meet religious dietary rules.

If the ban is enforced, Muslims and Jews will have to buy Halal and Kosher meat respectively from overseas.

The only other countries which do not allow the ritual slaughter of animals are New Zealand, Switzerland, and the Scandinavian and Baltic countries.

While New Zealand introduced its ban relatively recently, bans in other countries are often related to pre-World War II anti-Semitism.

The proposed law has been criticised for violating religious freedom by the Anti-Defamation League and Christian parties, while Marianne Thieme of the Party for the Animals, which tabled the bill, obviously welcomed its approval.

The bill has been passed by parliament and must now be approved by the senate in order to become law.

Separately, the Netherlands is also planning to ban foreign visitors from visiting coffee shops which sell marijuana.

The so called ‘pot shops’ or ‘cannabis cafes’ will become private clubs open only to adult Dutch citizens if the ban goes ahead.

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