A new Belgian ban on the slaughter of unstunned animals in the country, that was adopted by the Wallonia Parliament in 2017, came into force as of yesterday.
A similar decision was enacted earlier this year in the Flemish region but could only be applied for sheep and goats due to the absence of a technical infrastructure in place.
The ban on the unstunned slaughter of animals known as “halal” in Islam and “kosher” in Jewish faith - which is a unique method of animal slaughter - drew outrage from the Muslim and Jewish communities alike in the country.
Belgian Muslims and Jews, who together make up about 6 percent of the population, argue that the decision is a disrespectful curb on religious freedoms and is discriminatory against minorities in the country.
Under both Islamic halal rules and Jewish kosher rules, livestock should be healthy and conscious before slaughter.
Similar laws have been passed in Switzerland and Denmark but lifted in Poland and Greece.