Two Muslim men, fined €4,600 for slaughtering a conscious goat in the street, have had an animal cruelty conviction overturned by a court in Italy on faith grounds.

The pair, Romanian travellers living in a camp in Val Bisagno, Genoa, were reported to the police in 2014 after publicly slaughtering a young goat by cutting its throat and then hanging it upside down, while it was still conscious, La Stampa reported.

The animal was killed during the Islamic celebration of Eid al-Adha, an annual celebration during which an animal is sacrificed to commemorate the prophet Abraham, who according to scripture was asked to murder his own son, Isaac, at God's command. But when he was about to do so, an angel appeared and told him to stop. It was simply a test of Abraham's faith.

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