COPENHAGEN––Telling the Danish TV2 network audience that “Animal rights come before religion,” Denmark minister for agriculture and food Dan Jorgensen banned livestock slaughter without pre-stunning, effective on February 17, 2014.
Coinciding with outrage over the killing of a “genetically redundant” young giraffe at the Copenhagen Zoo, the proclamation cancelled within Denmark the exemptions granted in European Union law for halal and kosher slaughter, practiced by observant Muslims and Jews.
Danish Halal, which had overseen halal slaughter in Denmark, called the ban “a clear interference in religious freedom.”
Alleged Israeli deputy minister of religious services Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan, “European anti-Semitism is showing its true colors.”
Among the first Twitter responses to Jorgensen’s proclamation, observed Adam Withnall of The Independent, were complaints that “In Denmark butchering a healthy giraffe in front of kids is cool, but a kosher/halal chicken is illegal,” and that “Not even zoo lions are allowed a taste of halal giraffe.”
While that controversy raged, and appeared headed to court, PETA released photos showing pigs being hanged upside down in wooden frames and shot with a variety of weapons to give British Army medics practice in treating simulated combat wounds.
“The shocking photos taken in Denmark have put the country at the center of another animal cruelty row,” wrote Chris Hughes and Andy Lines of the Daily Mirror. “Military surgeons are sent to Denmark for the controversial training on live animals––even though the practice is illegal in the U.K.”
“The overwhelming majority of the U.K.’s NATO allies do not shoot, stab or dismember animals for their military training exercises,” said PETA-U.K. associate director Mimi Bekhechi. “The Ministry of Defence’s decision to ship out members of the armed forces for these deadly and cruel exercises in Denmark is impossible to justify medically, ethically, or educationally.”
The Copenhagen Zoo giraffe killing also renewed online notice of pilot whale and dolphin massacres in the Faroe Islands, a remote autonomously governed Danish protectorate. Faroe Islanders are known to have frequently driven pilot whales and dolphins into shallow waters for slaughter at least since 1584. Sea Shepherd Conservation Society observers reported that 1,306 pilot whales and dolphins were killed within 63 days during the summer of 2013.