Noncommercial shechita OK’d in Poland pending ruling
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Noncommercial ritual slaughter can continue in Poland pending the outcome of a government petition, the interior minister reportedly said.
On Aug. 1, Minister Michal Boni filed the petition with the Polish constitutional court to allow noncommercial shechita, or ritual slaughter, according to Poland’s ambassador to Portugal, Bronislaw Misztal.
Smaller European Jewish and Muslim Jewish communities rely on Poland for a supply of ritually slaughtered meat.
Last November, Poland’s constitutional court scrapped a government regulation exempting Jews and Muslims from a law requiring the stunning of animals prior to slaughter. Muslim and Jewish ritual slaughter requires that animals be conscious before their necks are cut.
The ruling resulted in a ban on Jewish and Muslim ritual slaughter, which in Poland has evolved into a $500 million industry for export. On July 12, a bill to legalize ritual slaughter was defeated 222-178 in Poland’s lower house.
The minister’s petition ultimately may not be enough to salvage the industry, as it is limited to allowing slaughter “for religious reasons and not commercial objectives,” the Polish ambassador reportedly said.
The Jewish Chronicle of London reported on Aug. 2 that more than 80 slaughterhouses, meat plants and animal breeders are preparing to sue the Polish government for losses of future profits and on supply contracts that have been signed. — jta
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