The ban brings Belgium in line with European Union regulations that require animals to be stunned, so they can’t feel pain, before slaughter. However, Jewish and Muslim religious laws require that animals are conscious when they are killed.
Kosher and Halal methods of slaughter involve the animal being killed with a single cut to the neck which severs critical blood vessels. Advocates claim the animal loses consciousness in seconds and it doesn’t suffer during the process.
Approximately 500,000 Muslims and over 30,000 Jews live in the small European country, which has a population of 11.3 million. Leaders of both communities have railed against the new law and are challenging it in Belgium’s Constitutional Court.