European Jewish group warns of Polish draft law banning kosher meat exports
If this law is passed, a central and vital part of the Jewish practice that has persisted for millennia would be destroyed.
Europe’s largest Jewish umbrella organisation expressed concern on Thursday about a draft animal welfare law in Poland that would ban exports of kosher meat.
“This bill is of deep concern to the European Jewish community. It places unproven and unscientific claims about animal welfare above freedom of religion, violating a central pillar – Article 10 – of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights which clearly states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance”, said Rabbi Menachem Margolin, President of the European Jewish Association, in a statement.
The draft law on animal welfare has been adopted by the Chamber of Deputies. It now seeks the approval of the Senate.
Menachem Margolin said that the proposed measure “alarmingly seeks to control and evaluate Jewish practice by giving the Minister of Agriculture the power to determine the qualifications of those who practice religious slaughter”.
“In addition, the bill will also require a determination of the amount of kosher meat needed by the local Jewish community. How will this be done? By creating and supervising a list of Jews in Poland? This law, if passed, will lead to a dark and sinister backlash for Jews – a return to the occupation, where practice and belief were initially targeted as the first steps on the road to our eventual destruction,” he said.
Menachem Margolin called on the Polish government and President Andrzej Duda to prevent the bill from becoming law.
In early 2018, Poland proposed legislation banning kosher slaughter until it is removed from the parliamentary agenda later in the year.
Jewish law requires that an animal must be healthy and unharmed before the kosher ritual slaughter, or shechita, and that it is forbidden to make it immobile (or stun it before).
“There is no pleasant way” to kill an animal, said Menachem Margolin. “Either we should all become vegetarians, or we must accept that kosher slaughter is no more cruel than any other method. »
Source: Alliance Mag