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Ritual slaughter in Sweden

Sweden banned slaughter without prior sedation in 1937. The suffering of the animal was referenced as the main concern and remains so today. The slaughter of animals is regulated by Sweden’s Animal Protection’s Act, which provides that animals must be sedated prior to slaughter. There is no exception for religious slaughter.
The sedation method accepted under law depends on which animal is to be slaughtered. Poultry and sheep may be sedated using electricity. Cattle may only be slaughtered using a penetrating bolt pistol. There are no additional requirements for religiously slaughtered animals compared with non-religiously slaughtered animals.
Swedish law allows for the import of kosher and halal meat that has been slaughtered without prior sedation. In addition, halal slaughter is performed in Sweden by Shafi’i and Hanafi Muslims who allow for sedation prior to slaughter. Halal meat, like all other meat slaughtered in Sweden, may be exported, provided the slaughter is performed in accordance with Swedish law. There are no requirements for halal meat to be marked as halal.

For further information, see a full article on the Legal history, debate and regulation on ritual slaughter in Sweden, from Elin Hovferberg, Swedish scholar in law working at US Library of Congress, Washington (US). Courtesy of the US Library of Congress.

Source: Elin Hovferberg, ‘Sweden’, Legal Restrictions on Religious Slaughter in Europe, at US Library of Congress, 2018.

D 17 May 2019    APer Pettersson

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