Foster family told to stop serving pork to their Muslim wards

Ankestyrelsen rules in favour of girls’ biological father, who complained that his daughters were served pork

Serving pork to Muslim children violates their right to religious freedom, the national social appeals board, Ankestyrelsen, has ruled. 

Ankestyrelsen's ruling came in response to a complaint filed by a Muslim father whose two daughters were served pork by their foster family in Brøndby. 

The father's initial complaint to Brøndby Council in July 2012 was refuted, with the council saying that the children should follow the norms of their non-Muslim foster family. According to public broadcaster DR, the council argued that family meals were an important bonding time for the children and their foster family. 

A later complaint to Det Sociale Nævn, a regional appeals body that has the power to overturn council decisions, was also rejected but the new Ankestyrelsen ruling sides with the girls' Muslim father. In the ruling, the board refers to Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which provides the right to freedom of religion.

Michael Nauman, a lawyer representing the family the girls, said the decision would set a precedent moving forward, forcing councils to take religious concerns into consideration.