The European Court of Human Rights has rejected the request of representatives of the Jewish and Muslim faiths to review the February ruling, validating the Walloon and Flemish bans on slaughter without stunning. This now means that the ruling is final and no legal means can further challenge it.
4 July 2024

In February, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the bans on slaughter without stunning, adopted by the Wallonia and Flanders regions in Belgium, do not constitute an obstacle to the freedom of religion

Following this, representatives of the Jewish and Muslim faiths had requested the Grand Chamber of the Court to re-examine the text. However, the Court upheld its previous ruling - a decision welcomed by GAIA.

By rendering the judgement of 13 February 2024 final, the European Court of Human Rights sets in stone its decision that a ban on this practice does not constitute an infringement of freedom of religion. In other words, the Brussels Region can no longer legitimately invoke freedom of religion to justify its refusal to ban slaughter without stunning.

Michel Vandenbosch
GAIA President

GAIA called on the parties that will form the new Brussels government, as well as regional MPs, to take seriously into account the decision of these three supreme courts, and legislate against slaughter without stunning in the region.

Slaughter without stunning exposes animals to severe and prolonged suffering, which can last up to 12 minutes for cattle. All Belgian and European veterinary associations consider slaughter without stunning unacceptable in all circumstances.