Halal butchery banned in Denmark

Oh and kosher, they’re not picking on the Muslims! (There are no kosher slaughterhouses in Denmark to the best of my knowledge and googling)

There were some news stories a few months back about halal meat being sold unlabelled in supermarkets and people got mad because consumers want all the information before they can make a choice.

Now halal slaughter is banned. The Danish state say it is an animal welfare decision. But animal welfare in Denmark is pretty shit. Animal welfare organisations complain regularly about how pigs are treated in Denmark. Mink farms are a disgrace. Zoophilia is legal. Not to mention their bloody zoos.

My friends in other countries prefer to discuss the philosophy of putting animal welfare above religious considerations. That’s fine.

But this decision is not about animal welfare. It is about getting at the Muslims. Sure, they can get their meat elsewhere/go vegetarian but what about the people working in the halal meat trade? They are mostly Muslims and now what will they do? Drive a bus?? Become a SOSU?

The conventionally slaughtered Danish meat industry didn’t like the ‘Other’ encroaching on their territory. And they were sure as shit not going to go to the expense of labelling halal meat. Hardly any non-Muslim Danes will be bothered about how the Muslims are treated. It’s a win-win for legislators: look good on animal welfare+ kick the Muslims.

Meanwhile, I have to put up with people saying that animal welfare trumps religious sensibilities, all the while continuing to eat conventionally slaughtered meat products. If Denmark had tightened animal welfare legislation in general, raising the welfare standards of meat production in general and ooops! that means no halal/kosher slaughter, I’d be less cynical. If more Danes were vegetarian or vegan, I’d be less cynical. If it were possible to get ‘happy meat’ easily in Danish supermarkets, I’d be less cynical.

If I were a sheep or a cow, I’m not sure I’d prefer a conventional Danish slaughterhouse. If I had to choose, you understand.

13 thoughts on “Halal butchery banned in Denmark

  1. Exactly, exactly. What a transparently bigoted decision. Nothing but. I actually saw Independent commenters saying “Bless Denmark.” I guess they’ve forgotten Jamie Oiver’s campaign against the way pigs are transported in Denmark?


  2. As my colleague just said – So, animals in Denmark have the right to die humanely but not to live humanely!


  3. Technically the meat labelled halal had come from animals that had been stunned with the prayers said presumably before/during the process of bleeding the animal out. So this doesn’t ‘ban’ halal meat (for those muslims that accept that definition of halal which not all do). It just codifies the current standard and to prevent the establishment of a non-stunning abatoir.

    And Denmark is not the first European country to establish this kind of law.

    The problem is that most people think of meat in terms of point of sale but modern meat production and distribution is essentially a commodity market (which depends on the idea of fungibility) and creating separate non-fungible plain, kosher and halal streams (and/or rigorous labelling) will likely drive the price up of the latter two more than the majority of consumers will accept.


      1. How so? There was no slaughter without stunning and now there won’t/can’t be. Do you really want animals’ throats cut while they’re conscious?

        And while when done expertly halal slaughter might seem quick and painless it (and kosher slaughter) very often are anything but.


      2. Not everything is binary. I can be cynical of this decision without being *for* animals’ having their throats cut while conscious.
        I am pretty conflicted about halal slaughter, especially industrial halal slaughter. I see this decision as nothing to do with animal welfare.


  4. Alan Lamb English cricketer born in South Africa loved everything Lamb……indeed,
    Me, Yorkshireman born definitely in England loves lamb too and the only “bloody” place I could get decent (halal) Lamb that wasn’t frozen and without taking out a mortgage to enjoy it……was here in F-town……ah well lets carry on with the leverpostej med bacon……get a grip Denmark or soon your land will end up like England and Germany respectively. Doomed


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