07 Jul 2022 at 09:00
The Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) will also this year make additional checks for illegal slaughter during the Feast of the Sacrifice (Ied-al-Adha). A year earlier, the service found illegal slaughter in only two cases. The service then told NU.nl that people “now know that slaughtering outside a recognized slaughterhouse is not allowed”.
By: Afran Groenewoud
In the Netherlands an animal must be unconscious before slaughter. In technical terms, this is called intoxication. An exception applies to slaughter according to Jewish or Islamic rituals. Under certain conditions, the animal may be slaughtered without stunning.
The slaughter of animals without stunning is only permitted in the Netherlands in approved slaughterhouses and under the supervision of the NVWA. This year 45 slaughterhouses are allowed to slaughter animals during the Feast of the Sacrifice. A year earlier there were 47.
If a slaughterhouse slaughters without stunning during the Feast of the Sacrifice, a supervisor from the NVWA is continuously present during the killing. The NVWA also checks whether each animal is still stunned no later than forty seconds after the neck cut, unless it has been established by a qualified slaughterhouse employee that the animal is no longer conscious.
Fewer and fewer animals slaughtered without anesthesia during the Feast of the Sacrifice
Muslims all over the world celebrate the Feast of Sacrifice every year. This year the party starts on July 9.
During the Feast of the Sacrifice, an animal is ritually slaughtered per family. The proportion of animals slaughtered without stunning has been declining for years. An NVWA spokesperson also expects a decrease in 2022.
The NVWA spokesperson says that he will continue to check extra for illegal slaughter, because more animals are slaughtered without anesthesia during the Feast of the Sacrifice than usual. That number fell sharply between 2019 and 2021: from 56,000 to 37,000. By way of comparison: according to statistics bureau CBS, in 2021 1.37 million chicks and more than 47,000 pigs were slaughtered for the meat industry in the Netherlands.
The Contact Body Muslims and Government (CMO) tells NU.nl that more and more Dutch Muslims choose to make a donation instead of having an animal slaughtered, for example to people abroad who have less to spend. That donation can also consist of a ritually slaughtered animal.
See alsoWhat exactly is the Islamic Feast of Sacrifice about?
Extra checks yielded little in 2021
The NVWA and the police also made additional checks in 2021 for illegal slaughter around the party. In only two cases was there actual illegal slaughter. Both cases were detected in Gelderland after external reports, ie not after its own investigation by the NVWA.
“It is good news that we have found few cases of illegal slaughter,” said an NVWA spokesperson in 2021. “People now know that slaughtering outside a recognized slaughterhouse is not allowed.” According to the NVWA, animal welfare rules were well observed during the Feast of the Sacrifice of 2021.