>European Jewish Congress condemns decision as ‘the greatest assault on Jewish religious rights in Belgium since the Nazi occupation of the country in World War II’
>Belgium’s Wallooon region has voted to ban kosher and halal meats by outlawing the slaughter of unstunned animals.
>The environment committee of southern Belgium’s Walloon Parliament voted unanimously for the ban, which will take effect on 1 September, 2019.
>Both Jewish kosher and Islamic halal rituals require the butcher to swiftly slaughter the animal by slitting its throat and draining its blood, a process condemned by animal rights campaigners, who argue it is more humane to stun animals before killing them.
>The European Jewish Congress has strongly condemned the decision, calling it “scandalous”.
>“This decision, in the heart of Western Europe and the centre of the European Union, sends a terrible message to Jewish communities throughout our continent that Jews are unwanted,” EJC president Moshe Kantor said.
>”It attacks the very core of our culture and religious practice and our status as equal citizens with equal rights in a democratic society. It gives succour to antisemites and to those intolerant of other communities and faiths.”
>A ban on the slaughter of animals without stunning will come into effect in January 2019 in the Flemish region of Belgium, the De Morgen daily newspaper reports.
>He added: “We call on legislators to step back from the brink of the greatest assault on Jewish religious rights in Belgium since the Nazi occupation of the country in World War II.”