France has not banned halal slaughter ahead of Ramadan

14 February 2024
What was claimed

France has banned the halal slaughter of chickens ‘weeks’ before Ramadan.

Our verdict

This is false. The claim dates back to 2021, and the Ministry of Agriculture has said there is no ban on ritual slaughter in the country.

Halal slaughter has not been banned in France “weeks before Ramadan”, contrary to claims being shared on social media.

The claim has been shared widely on social platforms including Facebook, X (formerly known as Twitter), and TikTok ahead of Ramadan—the Muslim month of fasting—which this year is expected to begin on 11 March.

The claim first originated in a press release issued by the mosques of Paris, Lyon and Évry in March 2021, raising concerns about a ‘ministerial instruction’ which it said could lead to a ban on the halal slaughter of poultry.

However, the ministerial instruction—published in November 2020—did not ban ritual slaughter of animals in France. It was issued to clarify the requirements around slaughter methods in abattoirs, as well as stunning methods. 

Both halal and kosher slaughter of animals in France is allowed in approved abattoirs as part of a 2011 religious exemption to 2009 European Union legislation which regulates how animals should be immobilised and stunned before slaughter.

A spokesperson for the French Ministry of Agriculture told AFP in 2021 that the 2020 directive was not an end to the exemption for halal slaughter.

The directive instead set out the conditions for abattoirs to be exempt from the requirement to stun animals before slaughter.

AFP spoke to the president of the Lyon mosque, Kamel Kabtane, who clarified that while the directive did not “ban” halal slaughter, that their concerns were the control conditions would lower the amount of poultry being slaughtered under Muslim religious rules.

The claim was reported by the Islam Channel following the statement from the French mosques, both on its website and YouTube channel in 2021. Many of the posts being shared now on Facebook include screenshots of these reports—which have not been updated to reflect the fact the claim was incorrect. 

We have contacted the Islam Channel and will update this article if we receive a response.

Claims like these can spread quickly on social media and have the potential to mislead and confuse. We have previously fact-checked false claims around halal food, including that an HMA label on Asda beef means it is halal, and that all UK schools only serve halal meat.

Image courtesy of Compassion in World Farming

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