Sweden: Muslim group: “Make halal slaughter legal”

The Muslim Association of Sweden (SMF) is renewing calls for the legalization of religious slaughter practices, such as halal and kosher dietary requirements. SMF chairperson Mahmoud Aldebe is challenging the government to respect the democratic rights of Sweden’s Muslims, to exercise their “religious freedoms” and help find a way to permit the practice.

At stake is the key issue of pain killers administered to the animal; the agriculture ministry requires that an electric shock be made to an animal before a cut is made. This method is prohibited by most Muslim and Jewish slaughter practices, as the risk of the animal dying before the cut is made is high.

The ban on slaughtering animals by cutting the jugular vein has been in force since 1937 in Sweden.