Denmark banned the kosher and halal slaughter of animals effective Monday, with Dan Jørgensen, the minister for agriculture and food, stating that “animal rights come before religion.”
Jews and Muslims are religiously required to slaughter animals in a kosher and halal manner, respectively. The method requires killing the animal while it is conscious, while European Union rules require that animals be stunned before death — except in cases of religious freedom.
The law was decided on last week, The Independent reports.
“European anti-Semitism is showing its true colors across Europe, and is even intensifying in the government institutions,” Israeli Deputy Minister of Religious Services Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan told the Jewish Daily Forward.
Denmark is fighting back against the accusations, however, calling accusations of anti-Semitism “very insulting.”
Danish Jewish community head Finn Schwarz told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that in 1998, Danish Jews allowed the use of non-penetrative bolt pistols in kosher slaughter, so the rule may be redundant — a point that contrasts with Jørgensen’s comments against religious freedom.