Animal welfare groups will also be cheered by the news that the ritual halal and kosher slaughter, whereby the animal has to be fully conscious as its throat is cut, has been banned by the Dutch parliament.

The ban follows legislation tabled by the tiny Animal Rights Party, against the views of Dutch Muslims and Jews who say that the ban violates their religious freedom. The country’s Chief Rabbi has compared the legislation to the Nazi persecution of the Jews.

Party leader Marianne Thieme told the Daily Telegraph: “This (ritual) way of killing causes unnecessary pain to animals. For us religious freedom stops where human or animal suffering begins.”

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