A federal appeals court reversed a lower court’s ruling on Friday that barred a Santeria priest from sacrificing goats in his Texas home, saying a city’s decision to prohibit the ritual violated the man’s religious rights.
Jose Merced, 46, accuses the city of Euless, Texas, of trampling on his constitutional right to religious exercise. The city claims the sacrifices jeopardize public health and violate its slaughterhouse and animal cruelty ordinances.
Merced asked the city for a permit to slaughter animals at his home but was told the practice was prohibited. He said he hasn’t been able to initiate any new priests in the past three years.
Euless attorneys have said the ordinances outlawing animal sacrifices were passed before Merced’s arrival in 1990 and don’t discriminate against any individual or group. McKamie also said Merced isn’t equipped to handle many animals on his property or dispose of them in a sanitary way.
Is there a real hygiene/sanitation issue with the killing of a goat?