Shechita faces ban in Poland

By Orlando Radice, July 12, 2013

The Polish parliament has defeated an attempt to protect religious slaughter in law.

In November last year, the constitutional court ruled that a derogation which allows Jews and Muslims to kill animals without pre-stunning was unconstitutional and incompatible with animal welfare laws.

In May, Prime Minister Donald Tusk, submitted a draft of new regulations designed to allow kosher and halal slaughter while reducing the suffering of the animals. The draft law was voted down today.

Pinchas Goldschmidt, President of the Conference of European Rabbis, commented: “Jewish communities across Europe will be incredibly distressed that the Polish parliament has voted not to protect the religious freedom of its Jewish and Muslim citizens.

“The Conference of European Rabbis is alarmed by the level of disinformation that has characterised the Parliamentary debates on this issue and we will be seeking an urgent meeting with the Polish Prime Minister. We will also be exploring what our legal options at EU level might be at this stage. This is very sad day for the Polish Jewish community and indeed for all of European Jewry.”

A spokesman for Shechita UK said: “The result of today’s vote in the Sejm is extremely disappointing.

“It represents the lowest point in the campaign to protect Shechita in Europe. Shechita UK will work together with Chief Rabbi Schudrich in Poland and the Conference of European Rabbis to offer whatever assistance we can as the campaign to deal with this latest setback is adapted.”

Last updated: 4:11pm, July 12 2013