Shocked residents watched on in disbelief as 79 sheep were slaughtered as part of the Muslim festival Eid al-Adha, also known as the Sacrifice Feast, in the Austrian state of Styria recently.
FPÖ calls for ban on ritual slaughter of animals
Photo: Flickr/Jacquie Wingate
23 December 2016
The far-right Freedom Party has relaunched efforts to ban the ritual slaughter of animals after several incidents in which sheep were slain in horrifying scenes.
It is the second incident of public slaughters in the town and now the FPÖ is campaigning for a total ban on the ritual killing of animals for religious reasons.
At present in Austria, ritual slaughtering has been regulated with lawmakers stating that animals can only be killed in licensed slaughterhouses, and must be given anaesthesia.
But after that rule was ignored twice in Styria, far-right politicians have called for the ban by launching online petitions.
Udo Guggenbichler, an animal protection lawyer, advocated the call for the ban and rubbished claims by Muslims that animals immediately fall unconsciousness without any significant pain after having their throat cut.
He cited recordings which are supposed to document a "multi-minute death struggle" of animals after the ritual slicing of an animal.
But the FPÖ is struggling to get the backing of animal rights organisations, with two stating that although they are against the ritual slaughter of animals, they would not be used for "populist means".
The organisations, "Vier Pfoten" ("Four Legs") and "Verein gegen Tierfabriken" ("Organisation against Animal Factories"), said they would not collude with the party to campaign for the ban.
Imam Tarafa Baghajati of the Islamic Religious Community explained ritual slaughter must be "expertly executed by someone who has training as a butcher or similar expert knowledge".
But he admitted that some Muslims are slaughtering animals privately.
He said: "Muslims who do this are committing simultaneously two Islamic sins: on the one hand, animal suffering is caused, on the other hand the cattle loses only little blood and is therefore not halal."
Rabbi Schlomo Hofmeister said that in contrast to commercial slaughter, electric anaesthesia would impose additional pain on the animal. He added that during Kosher slaughter animals are "effectively anaesthetised" and killed by a selective cutting of a specific artery.
He said: "In the case of kosher meat, the adrenaline content is almost the same as in the living animal. In commercially slaughtered meat it is 100 times higher."
Story courtesy of Central European News.