The Upper House has again voted down draft legislation designed to outlaw the slaughter of animals which have not first been stunned. The bill was passed by a large majority of MPs in the Lower House last year.
The measure was put forward by the Animal Rights Party and aroused fierce opposition from the Jewish and Islamic communities. Both religions practice the ritual slaughter of conscious animals.
Most senators prefer to rely on an agreement made by Agriculture Minister Henk Bleker with Jewish and Islamic organisations, under which animals must be dead within 40 seconds of having their throats cut. The Animal Rights Party points out that the agreement has not been accepted by all relevant groups.
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