A Finnish parliamentary committee voted to protect the right to Jewish religious slaughter in the Scandinavian nation.
The Constitutional Law Committee voted 10-5 against the proposed Animal Welfare Bill outlawing kosher and halal slaughter, stating that the measure was an affront to religious freedom. The committee ruled that the religious slaughter of animals should continue to be legal in Finland, Eduksunta reported.
The government proposal would see all animal slaughter proceeded by stunning. The change would also apply to kosher and halal slaughter.
The Constitutional Law Committee noted that the proposed law would put a de facto ban on religious slaughter for Jews and Muslims in Finland.
The Agriculture and Forestry Committee will be next be ruling on the matter.
In November 2022, British politicians called on Finland not to ban kosher slaughter through the Animal Welfare Bill.
The lawmakers sent a letter to the Finnish ambassador to the UK, calling on the EU nation to amend its Animal Welfare Bill to allow for forms of religious slaughter that do no involve mechanically stunning the animal first, the UK Jewish News reported.
The MPs and peers warned in their letter that the proposed Finnish bill would cause kosher slaughter to be banned.
The bill, as proposed, would make illegal all slaughter that does not adhere to mechanical stunning of the animal. It has been criticized by Jewish activists in the UK as making life increasingly difficult for observant Jews in the EU, including the Shechita UK organization which presented its case to the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on International Freedom of Religion or Belief in the British parliament.