European Interest

Jewish community slams Polish bill to limit kosher slaughter

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Special knives used during shechita (kosher slaughter).

Poland could limit kosher slaughter under a new draft animal welfare law. The news has provoked a global outcry from the Jewish community.

According to the European Jewish Association, the controversial bill seeks to impose significant limits on the technique and would enforce “restrictions on exporting kosher meat from Poland, which would affect a very large part of the Jewish communities in Europe”.

As reported by The Independent, kosher slaughter was banned in Poland in 2013, but the decision was overturned by the high court in 2014.

The country already imposes limitations on its practice but the new legislation would go further, prohibiting the slaughter of animals when they are “in an unnatural state,” and bringing in a four-year jail sentence for those in breach of the law.

Rabbi Menachem Margolin, who chairs the European Jewish Association, said: “These restrictions on kosher slaughter are in complete contradiction to the principle of freedom of religion of the European Union.”

He called on the Polish government to not legislate this shameful law and to take into consideration that the Jewish people’s trust in the Polish leadership is deteriorating.

“I don’t want to imagine what the next stage will be after legislating the Holocaust Law and putting limits on kosher slaughter in the country.”

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