January 5, 2021

Belgian Jews Hoping for Ample Supply of Meat Despite Ban

Antwerp…The most recent decision by the Belgium High Court, upheld by the European Court of Justice, to ban all slaughter that does not involve stunning means that the Jewish community will have to scramble for other sources to satisfy the needs of the community.  They might be looking to Jossy Weiss, owner of Bassar in Antwerp who said: “I'm not a butcher. I sell deep-frozen meats that are vacuum packed. I don't physically come in touch with the meat, hence the difference between a butcher and me. It is the people who deal with fresh meat that are mainly affected. Generally, all meats are available. Poultry for example, you don't have many days from the moment of the shechita and therefore by the time the chicken arrives in Antwerp, you are left with a short time frame until its consumption. For the moment, people bring fresh from London, but it's still not the same like in the days when they had fresh local shechita." Attempts to outlaw kosher slaughter in many European countries are not new. Some have been lax in enforcing bans while others allow only imported kosher meat. Jewish leaders do not believe that the ban itself will be enough to force Jews out of Europe although they say that growing anti-Semitism may.