Religious slaughter, pre-stunning and the CJEU: Centraal Israëlitisch Consistorie van België

In Centraal Israëlitisch Consistorie van België and Others [2020] Case C-336/19, the Grand Chamber of the CJEU has ruled that, in order to promote animal welfare in the context of ritual slaughter, Member States may, without infringing the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU, require pre-stunning of animals before slaughter.

A decree of the Flemish Region of Belgium of 7 July 2017, amending the Law on the protection and welfare of animals regarding permitted methods of slaughter, prohibited slaughter without pre-stunning – including, in the case of religious slaughter, a requirement to use a reversible stunning technique that cannot result in the animal’s death. The decree was challenged, inter alia, by several Jewish and Muslim groups which sought its annulment in whole or in part. Continue reading