Denmark has announced that it will be banning the religious slaughter of animals, in a move that puts animal welfare before religion.
A change to an already existing law means that the killing of animals for halal and kosher meat would become illegal.
The move comes after years of protest from animal rights activists, but has been blasted by both Muslim and Jewish communities, who claim that it interferes in religious freedom.
As a result of the ban, workers in slaughterhouses are now required to stun all animals before killing them. A similar law was already in place, but religious communities were previously exempt.
In defence of the decision, Danish minister for agriculture and food Dan Jorgensen told Denmark’s TV2:
Animal rights come before religion.
It’s a bold move from the Danish government, and one which will raise much debate on the issue of religious animal slaughter.
Ironically, Denmark made the headlines last year when it slaughtered a young male giraffe at Copenhagen Zoo because he was the result of in-breeding. The giraffe was shot in the head, dissected in front of a crowd of children, then fed to lions.