New Zealand kosher poultry ban overturned

New Zealand Agriculture minister David Carter. Photo: John-Kirk Anderson

New Zealand Agriculture minister David Carter. Photo: John-Kirk Anderson

The Jewish community in New Zealand is celebrating after the country’s ban on kosher poultry was overturned.

An agreement has been reached with the minister of agriculture which will enable the shechitah of poultry to continue, but the community is still negotiating over the slaughter of lamb .

In May, Agriculture Minister David Carter rejected a recommendation that shechitah be exempt from the new animal welfare code, which mandates that all commercially slaughtered animals must first be stunned, making shechitah illegal.

The community filed legal action in August against the ban which was due to start in the High Court in Wellington on Monday and has now been adjourned.

The New Zealand community will now continue negotiations in relation to lamb and, until those negotiations are concluded, the interim orders, which were previously granted enabling the shechitah of lamb, will continue.

Garth Cohen, president of the Auckland Hebrew Congregation, said: “We gratefully acknowledge the support of all community members on this issue, and specifically thank those who have given evidence in support of the legal case and those who have donated funds.

“Unfortunately there is still a significant shortfall and community members are asked to ‘dig deep’ to help meet the costs of our campaign to save shechitah in New Zealand.”

Henry Grunwald, chairman of lobby group Shechita UK, said: “After many months of hard work, we are relieved to hear of this partial settlement and happy to be able to congratulate the Jewish community on what they have achieved so far.

“I would like to pay tribute to New Zealand’s communal leaders with whom we have worked very closely. They are a credit to their community and to the wider campaign to protect shechitah.”

Last updated: 3:26pm, November 26 2010