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Report on the legislation regarding religious slaughter in the EU, candidate and associated countries

by Rossella Bottoni and Silvio Ferrari, State University of Milan


This report aims to summarise current legal rules concerning religious slaughter in the EU member states (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany,Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland,Portugal, Republic of Cyprus, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom), candidate countries (Croatia, FYR Macedonia and Turkey) and associated countries (Australia and Uruguay). The first part examines legal notions of religious slaughter, as defined by the countries covered by the present research project. The second part deals with general rules regulating religious slaughter, identifying three categories of countries: 1) countries where religious slaughter without previous stunning is allowed under certain conditions, 2) countries prescribing post-cut stunning of animals used for religious slaughter, and 3) countries where religious slaughter without previous stunning is forbidden. The third part offers an overview of detailed rules concerning religious slaughter. In particular, rules are taken into account concerning notifications or permission requests, slaughtermen, slaughterhouses, veterinarians, handling and restraining of animals, cuts, knives, back up stunning and modification of regular stunning parameters. The fourth and last part focuses upon recent court decisions.

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