The Flanders government in Belgium said stunning animals was more humane, banning ritually slaughtered animal meat. Now, Muslims and Jews have to drive hours-long journeys to find the meat they want.
The ban on ritually slaughtered animal meats has come into effect in Belgium's northern Flanders region in late January, forcing the Muslim and Jewish community to drive long travels to buy meat.
The parliament in Flanders region had unanimously voted in June 2017 to ban kosher and halal meats by outlawing the slaughter of animals without stunning, which was set to become effective beginning with January 1 2019, following a similar ruling in Wallonia region in May 2017 that will go into effect in August 2019.
According to Islamic halal and Jewish kosher rituals, the animals are required to be butchered by slitting their throats without stunning them before killing.
"This will cost us more time and money. Before, we had more rights and freedoms. However, these rights are becoming more and more restricted," said Erkan Konak, a Flanders resident who has to drive 40 kilometres to the Netherlands to buy halal meat.
TRT World’s Shamim Chowdhury reports from Flanders, Belgium.