The Netherlands is set to sharpen up laws around ritually-slaughtered meat. Martijn van Dam, junior minister for economic affairs, wants stricter rules on meat from animals killed with ‘ritual’ methods instead of being stunned, to reduce suffering.
In a letter to MPs on Wednesday, Van Dam wrote: ‘I find the current implementation unacceptable. Negative effects on animal welfare must be minimised.’
Meat from ritually-killed animals must be clearly labelled, available in religious communities only rather than the ‘regular’ meat chain, and cannot be exported, he wrote. The rules will apply from January next year.
Van Dam said he had made agreements with Jewish and Muslim organisations and slaughterhouse representatives to implement the new rules.
Abattoirs that want to perform ritual slaughter must register, and will be monitored by Dutch food and goods authority the NVWA.
There will be new eye reflex measures to check animals have lost consciousness before they are killed, and slaughterhouses will need to record numbers.