By TOBY STERLING
AMSTERDAM (AP) - The Netherlands' parliament has passed a bill
banning any slaughter of livestock without stunning, removing an
exemption that has long allowed orthodox Dutch Jews and Muslims to
butcher animals according to their centuries-old dietary rules.
However, the bill must still pass the senate and the government
says it may be unenforceable in its current form.
The threat of a ban led to outcry from Jewish and Muslim groups
who say it infringes on their right to freedom of religion. They
argue ritual slaughter - done by swiftly cutting animals' throats
with a razor-sharp knife - is no worse than stunning.
The bill passed Tuesday with support on the political left,
which sees ritual slaughter as inhumane, and on the right, which
sees it as foreign and barbaric.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)