EU

Halal meat cannot be certified as organic under the EU law

Animal welfare

The Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled on February 26 that the meat derived from animals that have been slaughtered in accordance with religious rites without being stunned cannot be certified as organic.

Posted on Feb 26 ,11:06

Halal meat cannot be certified as organic under the EU law

In 2012, the French association Œuvre d’assistance aux bêtes d’abattoirs requested the French Minister of Agriculture and Food a ban on granting the "organic farming" label to miced beef patties certified 'halal' from animals slaughtered without pre-stunning. The request of the association was denied and thus led to a series of appeals. The case reached the European Court of Justice which ruled Tuesday (Feruary 26) that meat coming from animals which were killed without being stunned cannot be certified as organic.

The court said the EU legislature declares on several occasions in the legislation "its desire to observe a high level of animal welfare in the context of that production method".

The Court added that several scientific studies show that pre-stunning is the technique that compromises animal welfare the least at the time of killing.

"The Court goes on to note that the practice of ritual slaughter as part of which an animal may be killed without first being stunned, which is authorised by way of derogation in the European Union and solely in order to ensure observance of the freedom of religion, is insufficient to remove all of the animal’s pain, distress and suffering as effectively as slaughter with pre-stunning, which is necessary to cause the animal to lose consciousness and sensibility in order significantly to reduce its suffering," the Court's statement read.

The Court concluded that the labelling of organic products is to maintain and justify 'consumer confidence in products labelled as organic'. To receive the organic certification, products must be obtained in accordance to the highest standards, in particular in the are of animal welfare.

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