States are permitted to impose reversible stunning procedures for religious slaughtering. Indeed, according to the court, this rule allows for a fair balance between animal welfare and freedom of religion. In any case, the issue remains thorny since this is the third time in three consecutive years that the court is called to rule on this matter. This comment will follow the development of European legislation on religious slaughter, namely the reg. (CE) n. 1099/2009, through the ruling of the Court of Justice. So the three judgments will be analyzed, with particular attention to their impact. Then the most complex issues in the markets of halal and kosher food will be discussed: the acceptance of previous stunning and the absence of an obligation to label meat from unstunned animals. In the end, the focus will be shifted to the future strengthening of European legislation on animal welfare to make the agro-food system more sustainable, as recommended by From farm to fork Strategy. In particular, the important topic of animal welfare labeling will be addressed, trying to understand how this tool can fi ll the information gap in the meat market of unstunned animals.
Keywords: ritual slaughter, animal welfare, freedom of religion, meat labelling, animal welfare labelling