ECJ rules that pre-stunning significantly reduces animal suffering
Kosher and halal meat cannot be labelled as organic if the animal was slaughtered without pre-stunning, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled.
The ruling follows a case which had been taken to the French minister for agriculture by a group called Oeuvre d’Assistance aux Bêtes d’Abattoirs (OABA).
The group argued that the organic farming label should not be applied to products – specifically beef patties – that contained meat from non-stunned animals.
The case was initially rejected by the French courts, but was passed to the ECJ for consideration.
According to Farmers Weekly, the court ruled that non-stun slaughter carried out for religious reasons did not meet the high animal welfare standards required by organic regulations.
The court is also reported to have said that pre-stunning significantly reduced animal suffering.
Under EU law, all animals – with the exception of those for Jewish and Muslim consumption – must be stunned before slaughter.