Hamtramck City Council votes to allow religious animal sacrifices

1993 Supreme Court ruling prohibits restricting religious animal sacrifice

HAMTRAMCK, Mich. – After months of debate, the Hamtramck City Council voted to allow religious animal sacrifices.

The city’s attorney said imposing restrictions would be unconstitutional. He said animal religious sacrifices is, and has been legal in Michigan.

“I think many people may be surprised to know that public animal sacrifice is allowed in every city in the state that the state of Michigan allows,” the attorney said.

The attorney advised council to do away with proposed restrictions. He pointed to a 1993 Supreme Court ruling prohibiting restricting religious animal sacrifice.

Those restrictions included notifying the city ahead of a sacrifice, scheduling a post-sacrifice inspection to ensure the area was adequately cleaned and sanitized, and keeping it out of public view.

“The concern is is that these Muslim families are not disposing of the animals appropriately or there are blood in the streets and it is scaring children. But we have not seen any proof of that,” Nour Ali with the Council of American Islamic Relations Michigan said.

Ultimately, the council voted to pass a new language that is nearly identical to the state and federal statutes on religious animal sacrifice.

About the Authors:

Jacqueline Francis is an award-winning journalist who joined the WDIV team in September 2022. Prior to Local 4, she reported for the NBC affiliate in West Michigan. When she’s not on the job, Jacqueline enjoys taking advantage of all the wonders Michigan has to offer, from ski trips up north to beach days with her dog, Ace.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.