Several religious groups, including followers of Judaism and Islam, mandate that animals are uninjured (unstunned) prior to killing. However, nearly a third of European countries limit this practice through ritual slaughter laws.

Ritual slaughter is required for meat to be classified as kosher or halal. Therefore, laws preventing ritual slaughter cause individuals to abandon deeply held religious practices and imply a message of exclusion to all those who seek to follow their religion’s dietary laws.

During the Hannukah season, USCIRF highlights the impact that ritual slaughter laws have on religious communities in select countries, such as those where it is necessary to import kosher meat.

Dwight Bashir, Director of Outreach and Policy, USCIRF
Zachary Udin, Researcher, USCIRF