POLAND: Jewish leaders protest against the ban on kosher slaughterhouses

19 07 2013

Poland had recently extended the ban on Kosher meat production citing animal cruelty as the reason since according to Kosher rules, animal must be alive when its throat is cut. This raises several serious ethical questions. Are the animal rights above the rights of the people to practice their religious customs? Are the animal rights real reason or is it just a case of camouflaged antisemitism?  If the animal rights are the real reason, then why not ban the whole meat production industry? If you never saw a slaughterhouse from inside, maybe you should visit one and see for yourself. I warn you, if you do visit any slaughterhouse, Kosher or non-Kosher, chances are you will be vegetarian at least for a while.  And than, the fact that Poland was the place where millions of Jews lost their lives during the Holocaust, doesn’t make Poland the best candidate to experiment with putting animal rights above the rights of Jews to follow their tradition. Below you will find a news article about the Polish decision and the article with the response from Jewish community. Your comments, viewpoints and opinions are welcome. 
Jura Nanuk,
President & Founder

A scene from kosher slaughterhouse in Mea Shearim neighborhood in Jerusalem. Photo by Nati Shohat/Flash90.

A scene from kosher slaughterhouse in Mea Shearim neighborhood in Jerusalem. Photo by Nati Shohat/Flash90.

JERUSALEM, July 15 (Reuters) – Israel has criticized an extension of Poland’s ban on kosher meat production, saying on Monday that it damaged efforts to rehabilitate Jewish life in a country whose large Jewish community was all but wiped out in the Holocaust.

Citing animal cruelty, Warsaw lawmakers on Friday rejected a government-backed bill that would have allowed slaughterhouses to produce meat in accordance with Jewish ritual law. The practice was halted last year by a constitutional court ruling.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry called the vote “totally unacceptable”.

“Poland’s history is intertwined with the history of the Jewish people. This decision seriously harms the process of restoring Jewish life in Poland,” it said in a statement.

“We call on the parliament to reassess its decision and expect the relevant authorities to find the way to prevent a crude blow to the religious tradition of the Jewish people.”

The Holocaust almost eliminated Poland’s Jewish community, Europe’s biggest before World War Two broke out in 1939. Nazi concentration camps including Auschwitz and Treblinka were located on Polish soil.

Some Polish Jewish groups have also said prejudice about their faith played a part in the anti-kosher measures.

Usually, slaughterhouses stun livestock before killing them, while kosher rites demand that an animal is killed by slitting its throat while it is alive and bleeding it to death. The halal meat consumed by observant Muslims is killed in a similar way.

The bill’s defeat was a setback for Prime Minister Donald Tusk, who has sought to strengthen ties with Israel.

During a trip to Spain, Tusk described the Israeli Foreign Ministry statement as inappropriate.

“Especially the historical context is, to put it mildly, off target and is not applicable to the situation,” he said. (Writing by Dan Williams; Additional reporting by Andres Gonzalez in Madrid; Editing by Jeffrey Heller and Alistair Lyon)

Jewish leaders ask EU to block Polish kosher slaughter ban

Europe’s Jewish leaders on Thursday asked the European Union to back their call for a Polish ban on the ritual slaughter of animals for food to be overturned.

Jewish community and religious leaders from across Europe also urged the EU to review its own legislation on animal slaughter to strengthen the rights of Jews and Muslims to eat meat killed in line with their religious requirements.

The EU rules are designed to minimise suffering for animals when they are killed, but religious groups are exempted from a requirement that animals be stunned before death.

Kosher and halal slaughter require an animal to be killed by slitting its throat.

“We call on the European Commission and European Parliament to reinforce the directive (legislation) to allow Jews and Muslims to practise their religion,” said European Jewish Congress secretary-general Serge Cwajgenbaum.

He was speaking after urgent talks called in Brussels after Poland’s parliament on Friday rejected a government bill to overturn the ban.

Jewish leaders said Poland was the only country in the 28-nation EU to effectively ban the production of kosher food.

The ritual slaughter of animals for food has been banned there since January 1 after a constitutional court ruled it was incompatible with animal rights law.

The lawmakers’ rejection of the bill angered the Jewish community, farmers and companies that had exported kosher meat to Israel and halal meat to Muslim countries.

Kosher McDonalds at Ben Gurion airport, Tel-Aviv, Israel. No chheseburgers available there as according to kosher rules meat and diary products should not be mixed.

Kosher McDonald’s at Ben Gurion airport, Tel-Aviv, Israel. No cheeseburgers available there as according to kosher rules meat and diary products should not be mixed.

Related post: Dutch MPs vote to ban religious slaughter



One response

19 07 2013
Linda Garens

All animals are alive when their throats are cut! That is the proper way to fill an animal quickly and then let it bleed out! How else would you kill a fowl beyond chopping its head off? And what would be the difference? My parents raised chickens for food when I was a child. My father didn’t shoot them first or put them to “sleep” and then chop off their heads! One chicken one time, ran around with it’s head chopped off, which is common, but this one seemed to chase my little brother around the yard, which of course was not funny at all to him, but had me down on the ground laughing! Was that also animal cruelty?….This is one of the dumbest things I have ever read!! And in Poland of all places! I am pretty sure their ancestors cut a lot of animals throats….while they were alive!!

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