Nine out of 10 EU citizens want their governments to ban the slaughter of animals that have not been stunned, according to a poll published recently.
The results of the survey, carried out for the animal welfare campaign group Eurogroup for Animals, will feed into a cross-Europe debate about so-called “ritual slaughter” – the killing of animals in line with rules of religions such as Judaism and Islam for kosher and halal meat, respectively.
Some countries, including Slovenia, Finland, Denmark and Sweden, as well as the Belgian regions of Flanders and Wallonia, have already adopted stricter rules, with no exceptions to the mandatory stunning of animals before slaughter.
If we moved to a law that balanced the current focus on minimising the negative states of animals (i.e. pain, distress, suffering) by mandating standards in respect of their positive states as well (i.e. comfort, interest, pleasure, "positive animal welfare") then would the current "cultural and religious" exemptions still continue to be permitted activities?
In time, foreseeably not.