Interim agreement on New Zealand shechitah ban

By Dan Goldberg, August 12, 2010

New Zealand's small Jewish community has won a minor victory in its legal battle against a government ban on kosher slaughtering.

In the High Court in Wellington on Monday, Justice Denis Clifford approved a consent order to permit shechitah until the trial reaches court, which is not expected until next year.

The decision comes as UK Jewish leaders step up efforts to prevent the European Parliament from passing a law that will mean kosher meat must be labelled "meat from slaughter without stunning".

New Zealand Jewish Council chairman Geoff Levy described the interim agreement as "a positive outcome" for the 7000-strong Jewish community.

Since the May 28 ban on shechitah, Kiwi Jews have had to import kosher meat from Australia, but no chickens - kosher or not - can be imported into the island nation.

Last week lawyers for the Jewish community filed legal proceedings against Agriculture Minister David Carter in a bid to overturn the ban.

The legal showdown was triggered after Mr Carter decided not to exempt shechitah under the new Commercial Slaughter Code, which mandates that all animals be stunned prior to being killed.

Last updated: 12:47pm, August 12 2010