This traditional festival, called Eid al-Adha, is one of the most important Islamic celebrations and provides for the sacrifice of an animal. In Belgium it is usually a sheep, a lamb or a goat. A family meal follows, between neighbors or family members. It is celebrated from August 21 and lasts for three days.
The absolute ban on slaughter without stunning was adopted last year in Flanders and Wallonia. Currently, in Wallonia, ritual slaughter without stunning can only be carried out in approved slaughterhouses. Those who want to do this at home first have to perform an intoxication. From 1 September 2019 slaughter with stunning is mandatory in all cases. As far as temporary slaughterhouses are concerned, requests in the Walloon Region must be addressed to the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (Afsca) and are accepted under strict conditions, says the spokesman for the Walloon Minister for Animal Welfare, Marie Minet.
Three temporary slaughterhouses will be established in Flanders. Only animals that have been sedated before can be killed. These structures will be located in Genk, Werchter and Wolvertem.
The Brussels Region will not install a temporary slaughterhouse, but municipalities can still take such an initiative. Such an approach also requires permission. However, no request for permission has been received by the Secretary of State for Animal Welfare, Bianca Debaets, and the deadline for submitting it has been exceeded.
The number of animals sacrificed during this religious celebration is decreasing each year and this trend is expected to continue this year. The holiday falls during the summer holidays and many people of Islamic faith celebrate with family abroad.