15.2.2021   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

C 53/7


Judgment of the Court (Grand Chamber) of 17 December 2020 (request for a preliminary ruling from the Grondwettelijk Hof — Belgium) — Centraal Israëlitisch Consistorie van België and Others v Vlaamse Regering

(Case C-336/19) (1)

(Reference for a preliminary ruling - Protection of animals at the time of killing - Regulation (EC) No 1099/2009 - Article 4(1) - Obligation to stun animals before they are killed - Article 4(4) - Derogation in the context of ritual slaughter - Article 26(2) - Power of Member States to adopt national rules aimed at ensuring more extensive protection of animals in the case of ritual slaughter - Interpretation - National legislation requiring, in the case of ritual slaughter, stunning which is reversible and cannot cause death - Article 13 TFEU - Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union - Article 10 - Freedom of religion - Freedom to manifest religion - Limitation - Proportionality - Lack of consensus among the Member States of the European Union - Discretion afforded to Member States - Principle of subsidiarity - Validity - Differing treatment of ritual slaughter and the killing of animals during hunting or recreational fishing activities and cultural or sporting events - No discrimination - Articles 20, 21 and 22 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights)

(2021/C 53/07)

Language of the case: Dutch

Referring court

Grondwettelijk Hof

Parties to the main proceedings

Applicants: Centraal Israëlitisch Consistorie van België and Others, Unie Moskeeën Antwerpen VZW, Islamitisch Offerfeest Antwerpen VZW, JG, KH, Executief van de Moslims van België and Others, Coördinatie Comité van Joodse Organisaties van België — Section belge du Congrès juif mondial et Congrès juif européen VZW and Others

Defendant: Vlaamse Regering

Intervening parties: LI, Waalse Regering, Kosher Poultry BVBA and Others, Global Action in the Interest of Animals VZW (GAIA)

Operative part of the judgment

1.

Point (c) of the first subparagraph of Article 26(2) of Council Regulation (EC) No 1099/2009 of 24 September 2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing, read in the light of Article 13 TFEU and Article 10(1) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, must be interpreted as not precluding legislation of a Member State which requires, in the context of ritual slaughter, a reversible stunning procedure which cannot result in the animal’s death.

2.

The examination of the third question referred for a preliminary ruling has disclosed nothing capable of affecting the validity of point (c) of the first subparagraph of Article 26(2) of Regulation No 1099/2009.


(1)  OJ C 270, 12.8.2019.