After a marathon sitting, a majority of senators in the upper house of parliament are now opposed to a ban on the ritual slaughter of animals, a week ahead of the crucial vote.
Labour senators have now changed their minds and oppose a ban, as has the ruling VVD. Christian parties had already made their opposition to the ban clear.
A large majority of MPs in the lower house of parliament voted in favour of a ban in June.
During the debate, Labour senators described the ban as ‘symbol politics’ while the VVD said the effect on the constitution would be too great, and other interests had not been sufficiently taken into account, Nos television reported.
Freedom of religion
Jewish and Muslim groups had campaigned heavily against the ban, saying it would compromise freedom of religion and that there is no evidence animals suffer more than in ordinary abattoirs.
During the debate, junior environment minister Henk Bleker presented a draft covenant which would involve reaching a deal with Islamic and Kosher slaughterhouses about how long an animal should remain alive after having its throat cut.
Labour and VVD senators support this option, Nos television said.
Marianne Thieme, leader of the pro-animal PvdD who drew up the ritual slaughter ban, dismissed Bleker’s proposal and said she will continue to work on her own plan.
The senate vote, now a foregone conclusion, will take place next Tuesday, Nos television said.
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