Polish form emergency committee on shechita

The Polish committee fighting the country’s prohibition on shechita had their first meeting on Monday as the government agreed “to look at all possible solutions”.

The group, which includes Chief Rabbi Michael Shudrich, President of the Jewish Community Piotr Kadlcik, and Grand Mufti Tomas Miskiewicz, studied a 1997 law which describes the state’s relationship with Jews but discovered that it did not override the ban.

The committee is due to meet again next week to decide whether the Islamic Union and the Jewish Community of Poland will come together to take their case to the Constitutional Court.

The same court ruled in November that an exemption which allowed Jews and Muslims to kill animals without stunning them beforehand was unconstitutional and incompatible with animal welfare laws.

A spokesperson from Shechita UK has condemned the law as “an astonishing attack on the freedom to practise religion in an EU member state,” stating that they are “monitoring developments in Poland closely and will offer whatever assistance we can”.

European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor pledged on his website that his organisation “will be using all political and legal channels to challenge this decision and to maintain solidarity with the Jewish community in Poland”.

Last updated: 5:45pm, July 25 2013