Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Stand-off, Not a Victory, in EU Shechita Decision


The European Jewish Congress released their comments about the new EU regulations regarding animal slaughter and the fact that the EU will not require pre-stunning of all animals.

Although the press release REFERS to the situation correctly, it does not explicitly state the problem with the new regulation—which accounts for the fact that most Jewish Bloggers are hailing this as a victory, when it really isn’t.

The Jewish bloggers and the Jewish press are generally failing to mention that, by refusing to require that all animals are pre-stunned, the EU has not guaranteed the right of shechita in individual member states.

In fact, it struck me how sad it is that European Jews are so used to religious bias from the EU that they regard a vote to retain the status quo as a victory--especially when that status quo eliminates the right to Kosher slaughter in seven member states.

The Council Directive 93119/EEC states:

  • Member States retain the right to authorise religious slaughter without prestunning in their own territory. The Directive leaves the responsibility for the respect of religious slaughtering rules with the religious authority, but places the responsibility for the enforcement of its general legal requirements directive with the official veterinary authorities. It further requires that animals slaughtered in accordance with religious rites shall be spared any avoidable suffering, pain or excitement during all stages of the slaughter process, and that a mechanical form of restraint be used to prevent injury when the animal is killed.

In other words, the individual member states can still ban the process, and those member states who have outlawed it so far, are not required to allow shechita (i.e. In Latvia, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Lithuania, and Switzerland; there is no kosher slaughter of beef and lamb. Switzerland allows the slaughter of poultry, but that is not allowed in the other six nations who have banned Kosher slaughter.)

So, this isn’t REALLY a victory, it is more like standoff. Now, the “animal rights activists” (a.k.a. Xenophobes) will have to get their anti-Jewish legislation passed individually in each member state—which means a lot more work for Jewish groups working to secure the rights of Jews to follow G-d's Law.

We have to be vigilant or there will have to be a whole lot more Kosher Vegetarians in Europe because there won’t be any access to kosher meat.


European Jewish Congress hails new EU regulation for 'shechita' or Jewish animal slaughter
by: Maud Swinnen Updated: 23/Jun/2009 18:11

BRUSSELS (EJP)---The European Jewish Congress, an umbrella organization for Jewish communities across Europe, hailed a new European regulation on animal slaughter agreed on Monday by the European Union Council of Ministers.

The new regulation recognises the validity of ‘shechita’ or Jewish animal slaughter according to religious methods and requires that kosher meat can be traded and sold freely in every EU member state.

“The European Jewish Congress is delighted that the new EU regulation ensures that communities in member states that kill animals for food according to humane Jewish law will be able to continue doing so,’ Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress (EJC) said.

He added: “This represents a victory for the Jewish community and religious minorities generally throughout the EU.”

But he said that “we must remain vigilant to ensure that individual governments do not seek to impose new requirements on religious slaughter“.

"The regulation specifically makes provision for the killing of animals for food by religious communities to be exempted from the requirement for pre-stunning, and it contains no discriminatory labeling requirements for meat slaughtered using the shechita method nor for post-cut stunning to be enforced,” explained Aba Dunner, executive director of the Conference of European Rabbis.

“Furthermore, no member state will be able to . . . [More]

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