The Brussels Regional Parliament voted on Friday that shechita will remain legal in the region, The Jewish Chronicle reported.
“We welcome the Brussels Parliament vote to maintain Shechita in the region and pay tribute to Chief Rabbi Guigui for his efforts,” said Shimon Cohen, the Campaign Director of Shechita UK. “Previous bans in Wallonia and Flanders greatly inhibited the religious Jewish communities in those areas, blatantly and worryingly disregarding their religious freedoms.
“In order for a country to be said to value and adhere to human rights, they must, by definition, allow Jewish religious communities to maintain their religious lifestyle.”
A parliamentary committee rejected a ban on shechita proposed by Brussels Minister for Animal Welfare Bernard Clerfayt on June 9, a move made possible by a ruling by Belgium’s Constitutional Court to uphold a European Court of Justice decision that EU member states can ban slaughter without pre-stunning.
??“We stand in full agreement with the ruling of the Brussels Parliament, declaring Shechita and Halal to be legal,” said HaRav Pinchas Goldschmidt, the President of the Conference of European Rabbis (CER).
“The bans on non-stunned slaughter enacted in the Belgium regions of Flanders and Wallonia in 2020 prohibited Shechita and Halal, blatantly trampling on the religious freedoms of the Jewish and Muslim communities, hundreds of thousands of Belgium citizens.
“These unsolicited bans have a dark historical precedent; rather than ushering in a future of increased animal welfare, these alarmingly legislative prohibitions are instead a harsh, destructive step backward. The law should never be used as an unsolicited weapon against religious communities.
“The vote of the Brussels regional Parliament on Friday, declaring that these religious methods of slaughter are not illegal thereby restores such religious rights in the country. We pay tribute to Chief Rabbi Guigui and Rabbi Bruno Fiszon for their efforts.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)