Ban on religious slaughter of animals begins in Denmark

A ban on kosher and halal slaughter in Denmark began Monday. Announcing the ban last week, Danish Agriculture and Food Minister Dan Jorgensen said, "Animal rights come before religion".

In order to be considered kosher under Jewish law or halal under Islamic law, animals must be conscious when killed. The new rule, which follows similar regulations in other European countries, requires animals be stunned before slaughter.

Danish Halal, a non-profit halal monitoring group, launched a petition condemning the ban. The group calls it "a clear interference in religious freedom limiting the rights of Muslims and Jews to practice their religion in Denmark".

Despite the criticism, many on Twitter praised the ban.

However, others were more critical.

Many on Twitter compared the ban to the controversial slaughter of a two-year-old giraffe in Copenhagen Zoo on February 9. The giraffe's slaughter sparked international outrage after it was stunned, dissected in front of a crowd, and fed to the zoo's lions. Zoo officials said they killed the animal to prevent inbreeding.