(JTA) – The only kosher slaughterhouse in the Netherlands is facing closure because of a government-introduced ban on exporting its produce, the abattoir’s lawyer said.
Herman Loonstein made the assertion in a letter he sent last week on behalf of the Slagerij Marcus abattoir to leaders of the Dutch Jewish community.
A clause in the document signed on July 5 states that the production of meat without stunning in the Netherlands will “not exceed the actual needs of communities present in the Netherlands” that require such meat.
For Slagerij Marcus this stipulation means a loss of approximately 40 percent of its income, which it derives from export, Loonstein told JTA, making its operation “financially untenable.”
The agreement was an extension and addition of an earlier deal signed between government officials and faith leaders in 2012. But the clause on exports was added to the original agreement in July, Loonstein said.
Religious laws in Islam and Judaism require animals be conscious when their necks are cut. Animal rights activist consider this practice cruel, though its advocates argue it results in less or equal suffering compared to industrial slaughter methods with stunning. Nationalists and anti-Islam activists also oppose ritual slaughter in Europe, ostensibly because they view it as foreign to their native culture.
Two of Belgium’s three regions have passed in recent weeks regulation outlawing the production of kosher and halal meat.