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Halal meat cannot be labeled ‘organic,’ ECJ rules

The meat from animals slaughtered under ritualistic practices cannot be labeled as organic, the European Union’s top court ruled on Tuesday.

 

The meat from animals slaughtered under ritualistic practices cannot be labeled as organic, the European Union’s top court ruled on Tuesday.

The EU organic standard places a high emphasis on animal welfare and ritualistic slaughter does not reach its threshold, the European Court of Justice found.

Ritualistic slaughter, in which animals are not stunned before being killed, is allowed under freedom of religion laws, but the lack of anesthesia means the animal suffers too much for the organic standard, the court found.

Animals killed in such a fashion have their throat slit in one movement, generally losing consciousness shortly afterward.

Oeuvre d’Assistance aux Betes d’Abattoirs (OAB), which ensures animal welfare in slaughterhouses, brought the initial case in France, arguing against the advertising and labeling of minced meat certified as “halal” as organic meat. The ECJ ruling targeted ritualistic slaughter generally, under which halal slaughter falls.

 

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