RITUAL SLAUGHTER PRECLUDES USE OF EU ORGANIC LOGO / by Nikolaas Tilkin-Franssens

The European Court of Justice ruled that halal meat cannot bear the EU organic farming logo. The Court has taken the stance ritual slaughter – as opposed to slaughter with pre-stunning – ‘does not allow the animal’s suffering to be kept to a minimum’.

The high standard of animal welfare in all locations and at all stages of production is a fundamental standard of organic farming in line with EU Regulation 834/2007 of 28 June 2007 on organic production and labelling of organic products. The latter Regulation demands that ‘any suffering, including mutilation, shall be kept to a minimum during the entire life of the animal, including at the time of slaughter’. The Court argued that the application of pre-stunning is shown to be the least compromising technique in terms of pain, distress and suffering of slaughtered animals.

Judgment of the European Union Court of Justice (26 February 2019) - Case C-497/17: Oeuvre d’assistance aux bêtes d’abattoirs (OABA) v Ministre de l'Agriculture et de l'Alimentation and Others - link