Dutch set to ban religious animal slaughter
Amsterdam - The Netherlands' parliament is set to pass a bill banning any slaughter of livestock without stunning, removing an exemption that has long allowed orthodox Dutch Jews and Muslims to butcher animals according to their centuries-old dietary rules.
The threat of a ban has caused an international outcry from Jewish and Muslim groups, who say it will make it impossible for them to eat meat and practice their religion freely.
They argue their method of slaughter - by swiftly cutting animals' throats with a razor-sharp knife - is no more painful or cruel than other methods.
The legislation going to a vote on Tuesday enjoys support on the political left, which sees ritual slaughter as cruel to animals, and on the right, which sees it as foreign and barbaric.