jeudi, 23 septembre 2021
 

Muslim religious slaughter is in fact prohibited in France

Paragraph 18 of the Council Regulation (EC) No 1099/2009 of 24 September 2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing, highlights that “this Regulation respects the freedom of religion and the right to manifest religion or belief in worship ”. It specifies in article 4.4 that “In the case of animals subject to particular methods of slaughter prescribed by religious rites,” a country may derogate from the obligation to stun animals.

Lille, March 27, 2021

To : M. Bruno FERREIRA, General Director
The General Directorate of Food
Rue de Vaugirard
75732 Paris Cedex 15

Subject : Muslim religious slaughter is in fact prohibited in France

Copies :
M. Julien DENORMANDIE, Minister of Agriculture
M. Gérald DARMANIN, Minister of Interior

Mister, the General Director,

Paragraph 18 of the Council Regulation (EC) No 1099/2009 of 24 September 2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing, highlights that “this Regulation respects the freedom of religion and the right to manifest religion or belief in worship [1] ”. It specifies in article 4.4 that “In the case of animals subject to particular methods of slaughter prescribed by religious rites,” a country may derogate from the obligation to stun animals.

Thus, bearing in mind the Republican principle guaranteeing religious freedom, the degree of subsidiarity granted to the Member States (in paragraph 18) and the possibility to “adopt national rules aimed at ensuring more extensive protection of animals at the time of killing than those contained in this Regulation” : (Article 26), which is aimed in particular at religious slaughter, can then have the effect of disregarding Article 1 of the Law of 9 December 1905, or Article 9 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

Indeed, since the adoption of the European regulation of 24 September 2009, religious slaughter has been the subject in France of several official texts (e.g., decrees, memos (DGAL : The General Directorate of Food), and technical instructions (DGAL)). These texts were generally included within an interpretation of Article 26 and an application of the principle of subsidiarity, which defacto banned Muslim religious slaughter in France. You will find attached with regard to this matter our letter of May 27, 2016, to your predecessor M. Patrick DEHAUMONT, which has remained unanswered.

Let us remember that the restrictions recommended by the decree of 28 December 2011 were based on the statistics in the CGAAER (General Council of Food, Agriculture and Rural places) report [2] claiming that the percentage of religious slaughters [3] , according to the data recorded by the UAS (health audit unit) amounted to 51% of the total slaughter the audited slaughterhouses. The introduction of the system for registering pre-orders requiring religious slaughter has clarified the objective of protecting non-Muslim consumers from buying meat from religious slaughter without their knowledge. Without wishing to go back over the defect in the sampling method used in that report, let us remember that it was based on very approximate interpolations to reach the conclusion that there was a surplus of meat from religious slaughter on the French market. It is therefore natural that the modernization of the DGAL’s databases should be used to correct these statistics and update them. Moreover, you will find attached the letter from ASIDCOM, dated December 11, 2014, to the Prefecture of the North which remains unanswered. Its purpose was to collect information on the traceability of meat labelled halal, information about the religious slaughterers working in our slaughterhouses and the lists of orders registered in accordance with the decree of 28 December 2011. However, the performance of the RÉSYTAL system (The official French digital database of the Minister of the Agriculture) can support the establishment of total transparency regarding the traceability of products and their different characteristics. You understand that Muslim consumers rely on those services for the protection of their community and it provides the support for an effective respect of their religious freedom by repressing deceptions that are prevented with the traceability of products displaying the halal mention. The modernization of digital devices to track the traceability of animals and their meat products allows the state service to better respond in the event of fraud.

The technical instruction DGAL/SDSSA/2020-722 of 23 November 2020 clearly has the effect of establishing the concept of stunning processes that are "compatible" with the religious slaughter (rural code R214-70) [4] . This result is immediate, as evidenced by the content of the latest communiqué of the three major mosques that enjoy support through inter-ministerial approvals to empower Muslim religious slaughters. These institutions are signatories to the religious reference of halal of the CFCM (French Council of Muslim Worship), which prohibits the use of any type of stunning before or after bleeding. However, they seem to be disregarding the religious prescriptions of halal and confuse traditional religious slaughter with bleeding preceded by stunning, using parameters that does not comply with the parameters of the European regulations. Will these mosques relinquish their role more in the face of the conflicts of interest created by their activities in the field of halal certification ? Will they provide formal documents setting out stunning processes that they believe would be "compatible" with Muslim religious slaughter ?

The technical instruction DGAL/SDSSA/2020-722 includes stunning methods with parameters that do not comply with the requirements of the European regulation, as part of the application of Article 4.4 reserved for slaughter methods prescribed by religious rites. This is unacceptable ! These non-conforming methods have been rejected by the CFCM’s religious standards documentation and by Muslim consumers both for the suffering they inflict on animals and their non-conformity with the prescriptions of Muslim religious rites.

ASIDCOM recalls the attachment of Muslim consumers to a high level of respect for animal welfare. The association recalls that it is urgent to regularize the situation of the approvals of the three great mosques for the authorization of Muslim religious slaughters. The association requests, finally, the repeal of the technical instruction DGAL/SDSSA/2020-722 of 23 November 2020.

Regards

Hanen REZGUI

ASIDCOM

Is the Muslim religious slaughter banned in France
Letter of ASIDCOM to the French Minister of Agriculture

[1As stated in article 10 of the Human Rights Charter of the European Union.

[2“Animal protection in slaughterhouses : The particular issue of the religious slaughter” - « La protection animale en abattoir : la question particulière de l’abattage rituel »

[3Of cattle, calves, sheep and goats

[4Conseil d’État, 8ème chambre, 13/03/2017, 391499, Inédit au recueil Lebon - Légifrance (legifrance.gouv.fr)

 
A propos de ASIDCOM
A propos d’ASIDCOM Créée en 2006 et présidée par Abdelaziz Di-Spigno jusqu’à juin 2011, l’association ASIDCOM est une association de consommateurs musulmans, déclarée ( type loi 1901) le 3 octobre 2006 en Préfecture des Bouches-du-Rhône, puis déclarée le 28 janvier 2013 à la Préfecture du Nord et (...)
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