European victory in save shechitah campaign

By Robyn Rosen, December 7, 2010
The amendment could still be reintroduced at a second reading

The amendment could still be reintroduced at a second reading

The campaign to save the slaughter of kosher meat in the UK has passed another hurdle after European ministers today passed draft legislation which will not introduce controversial labelling.

This morning, the European Council of Ministers approved a draft of new food information regulation. The draft did not include amendment 205, which called for all meat products derived from animals slaughtered by shechitah to be labelled "meat from slaughter without stunning".

Campaign group Shechita UK said the amendment was “discriminatory” and could cause kosher prices to rocket because buyers from the non-kosher market, which consumes 70 per cent of shechitah-slaughtered meat, might be put off by the labelling.

The European Parliament had voted in support of the amendment in June but the Council’s decision means that when the bill returns to the Parliament for a second reading in March, it will not include the amendment.

But campaigners may face another battle if the amendment is reintroduced at the second reading.

Shechita UK director Shimon Cohen said: “While we are very pleased with today's outcome of the Council meeting, there is still much work to do to ensure that new laws are not introduced next year which discriminate against shechitah.

“The European Commission is beginning a new consultation next year on animal welfare labelling, and we are continuing to work in Brussels with the European Jewish Congress to explain to the European food authorities the humane nature of shechitah.

“Our campaign is far from over, but we are making satisfactory progress, given the assault on shechitah that was launched earlier this year by some members of the European Parliament.”

Last updated: 12:46pm, December 7 2010