Saudi calls to lift Denmark's halal slaughtering ban
Riyadh, February 23, 2014
The Council of Saudi Chambers has called for the lifting of the ban on the halal slaughtering of animals in Denmark, said a report.
The council said the ban would strain bilateral trade between the two countries, estimated at SR6 billion ($1.6 billion), according to the Arab News report.
Denmark’s government brought in a ban last week on the religious slaughter of animals for the production of halal and kosher meat, after years of campaigning from welfare activists, said a report in the Independent.
European regulations require animals to be stunned before they are slaughtered, but grants exemptions on religious grounds. For meat to be considered halal under Islamic law, the animal must be conscious when killed, it said.
The halal beef and poultry products are imported in large quantities by Saudi Arabia and neighbouring Gulf countries.
About 55 per cent of Danish imports in Saudi Arabia are food-based, said the Arab News report.
The ban is poised to have a drastic effect on the Danish market since the country is likely to loose millions of dollars in trade and tourism revenues. It will end the sale of halal products.
Dan Jorgensen, Danish food minister, responded to the criticism on Denmark’s TV2, saying “Animal rights come before religion.”