Muslim leaders in France have criticised a recent decision to ban the slaughter of poultry animals in line with Islamic principles ahead of the holy month of Ramadan.

A joint statement issued by Paris Mosque director Chemseddine Hafez, Lyon Mosque director Kamel Kaptane and Evry Mosque director Khalil Maroun, says that the French Agriculture and Food Ministry’s circular sends a negative message to the large Muslim community in the country.

Under the new rule, the Islamic slaughter of poultry animals will be banned in France from July 2021.

The three administrators conveyed their concerns to the relevant ministry but did not receive any concrete results, the joint statement said.

“These precautions are a serious obstacle preventing people from freely practising their religion,” the statement read, adding that they are planning to take necessary legal action to restore the “fundamental right.”

The Muslim leaders have also discussed the matter with leaders of the Jewish community in France.