The far-right Freedom Party has relaunched efforts to ban the ritual slaughter of animals after several incidents in which sheep were slain in horrifying scenes.

Shocked residents watched on in disbelief as 79 sheep were slaughtered as part of the Muslim festival Eid al-Adha, also known as the Sacrifice Feast, in the Austrian state of Styria recently.

It is the second incident of public slaughters in the town and now the FPÖ is campaigning for a total ban on the ritual killing of animals for religious reasons.

At present in Austria, ritual slaughtering has been regulated with lawmakers stating that animals can only be killed in licensed slaughterhouses, and must be given anaesthesia.

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