One of Europe’s first countries to allow Jews to practice their religion openly may soon pass a law banning centuries-old Jewish and Muslim traditions on the ritual slaughter of animals.

In the Netherlands, an unlikely alliance of an animal rights party and the xenophobic Freedom Party is spearheading support for the ban on kosher and halal slaughter methods that critics say inflict unacceptable suffering on animals.

The far right’s embrace of the bill, which is expected to go to a parliamentary vote this month, is based mostly on its strident hostility toward the Dutch Muslim population. The Party of the Animals, the world’s first such party to be elected to parliament, says humane treatment of animals trumps traditions of tolerance.

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