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Liga van Moskeeën en Islamitische Organisaties Provincie Antwerpen, VZW and Others c. Vlaams Gewest, Case C-426/16, CJEU (Grand Chamber), 29 May 2018


Methods of slaughtering prescribed by Muslim religious rites.  Animal welfare, freedom of religion and respect for national customs with regard to religious rites. 

Normative references

Art. 10 EUCFR  
Article 13 TFEU  
Council Regulation (EC) No 1099/2009 of 24 September 2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing 
Regulation (EC) No 853/2004, ensuring hygiene for food of animal origin


1. The obligation, prescribed by EU law, to carry out ritual slaughter in an approved slaughterhouse, respecting the requirements as to the building and equipment, simply aims to organize and manage the freedom to carry out slaughter without prior stunning for religious purposes. 

2. Such a technical framework is not, in itself, designed to place a restriction on the right to freedom of religion of Muslims believers.

3. EU law makes ritual slaughtering subject to the same technical conditions as those which apply to any slaughter of animals within the European Union, in a uniform way, notwithstanding the method followed. 

4. The EU legislature reconciles compliance with the specific methods of slaughter prescribed by religious rites with the protection of the well-being of animals at the time of killing and the health of all consumers of meat. 
(The request for a preliminary ruling has been made in proceedings between different Muslim associations and umbrella organizations of mosques active in the Flemish Region, Belgium, and the Flemish Region concerning the decision adopted by competent Flemish Minister no longer to authorize, from 2015 onwards, the ritual slaughter of animals without stunning in temporary slaughterhouses during Muslim festivities)