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Christmas pig and Easter lamb in Romania

2008, European Union

News while I was in Romania

— Winter 2007-2008

Romania got an exception to the European Union injunction against the country's ritual slaughter of the Christmas pig and Easter lamb.

This year, the killing of pigs by cutting their throat was illegal without the use of an anesthetic.

That's not to say that it didn't happen. The backyard slaughter, traditional for centuries, appeared to go on without regard to any new law — this one being just less than a year old.

The Romanian agriculture minister persuaded EU officials,* based upon precedent of bullfighting in Spain, that a rule prohibiting these ancient ritual methods was unfair.

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* The phrase "persuaded EU officials" is from a BBC article from January 2008.

The European Union did not grant exception for an indefinite period, nor did it specify the duration for which it would be lenient.

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