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WP1. Religion, Legislation and Animal Welfare: Conflicting Standards

Dr. Karen von Holleben, BSI Schwarzenbek, Germany

WP 1 is aimed at reviewing information concerning development of current legislation, religious rules and scientific welfare concerns. It will prepare the ground and set the scene for the debate (WP 5). WP1 shall answer the central question: What are the conflicting standards and where do they come from?

The current legislation concerning slaughter will be reviewed for all 27 EU member states and moreover candidate countries (Croatia, Turkey) and associated countries (Australia and Uruguay). The review will include in each case the legal aspects of religious slaughter (incl. court decisions and veterinary aspects of religious slaughter like handling, fixation, cutting, personnel) and the legal development concerning religious slaughter in the recent years. The synthesis will give an overview on the legal situation within Europe and important linked countries.

This task is performed by lawyers and veterinarians under the coordination of Silvio Ferrari (lawyer, Universita di Milano, Italy) and Jörg Luy (veterinarian, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany).

Religious rules and requirements shall be reviewed with regard to the questions: what is permissible to eat, how should animals be treated and how should animals be slaughtered according to the Rules and Requirements of Islam and Judaism. Citations will derive from Scriptures, other traditional sources and official religious authorities (e.g. fatwas).

This task is coordinated by Haluk Anil (Department of Clinical Veterinary Science, University of Bristol) and Jörg Luy and will be supported by the UK Shechita Board, Bar Ilan University (Israel), Turkish Partners (Veterinary Association, Istanbul) and Partners from Egypt (University of Mansoura).

Animal welfare concerns will be reviewed from the viewpoint of animal ethics and veterinary sciences. This review will include three different types of slaughter practices, slaughter practices with stunning prior to neck cutting, slaughter practices with stunning post neck cutting and slaughter practices involving neck cutting without stunning implicating preslaughter handling respectively. The aim will be to discuss and evaluate the different slaughter practices in an unbiased and comparative fashion.

This task is coordinated by Karen von Holleben (veterinary sciences, BSI, Schwarzenbek, Germany) and Jörg Luy (animal ethics).