The proposed ban on kosher and halal meat in the Netherlands looks increasingly unlikely to pass at a vote next week.
The ban, which was backed by the Dutch Parliament in June, requires a yes vote from a majority in the Dutch Senate. But there are already hints that members of the Dutch Labour party, who make up the second largest party in the Senate, will not support it.
At a debate on the matter yesterday Nico Schrijver, a Labour senator, revealed that his party had questions about the bill – proposed by the Netherlands' Party for Animals - and specifically why it targeted religious methods as opposed to "large-scale industrial slaughter, which involves 500 million animals per year".
He said he believed there could be "much more effective, and less far-reaching methods that achieve the same goal" of animal welfare.
The ban has attracted support from a number of groups, including Geert Wilders's Freedom Party, which has a record of being critical of Islam. One of its senators said at the debate that "such practices" did not belong "in a civili s ed country as ours". But it has been opposed by the Christian Democrats from the outset, who may now be joined in their opposition by the VVD party, the largest party in the country.