Unsettling developments on slaughter without stunning in Greece


Unsettling developments on slaughter without stunning in Greece

2 March 2022
Hellenic Animal Welfare Federation
Instead of complying with the ruling of the Supreme Court, the Government amends the law on which the ruling was based

After having been defeated in Court by animal protection organisations who had appealed a ministerial decision allowing ritual slaughter of animals without prior stunning, the Greek government took the unprecedented step of getting rid of the existing animal protection law that stood in its way. 

In October 2021, in a ruling that made history, the Supreme Administrative Court of Greece annulled a ministerial decision which, in 2017, had introduced ritual killing of animals without prior stunning, a killing practice until then prohibited under Greek national law. 

The Court ruled that the Greek State had not made use of the “margin of appreciation” and the “level of subsidiarity” provided by the EU regulation which gives Member States the possibility to ensure wider protection of animals, by maintaining their national rules or adopt new ones - taking into account the evolution of values and perceptions in their society - especially given the fact that Greece has had a legislation prohibiting any killing of animals without prior stunning since 1981.

The government decided to remove the inconvenient article from the law, downgrading Greek animal protection standards to pre-1980s levels. This unacceptable amendment was slipped into a massive bill on corruption which was submitted three days ago and will be voted by Parliament with expeditious procedures.