June 27, 2011

Kosher Slaughter Receives a Reprieve by EU and the Netherlands, But Only Temporarily

London…Kosher slaughter (schechita) received its latest reprieve from the European Union last week when the European Council and Parliament removed a requirement that all kosher and halal meat would be labeled "meat from slaughter without stunning". Meanwhile in the Netherlands, lawmakers also gave Jews and Muslims a reprieve of sorts. They offered to exempt the religious slaughter if they can prove that it does not cause animal suffering. Experts have testified for decades that schechita is the most humane method of slaughter leading the US Congress several decades ago to exempt the ritual slaughter from humane slaughter laws. Dr. Temple Grandin, a world authority on the subject has repeatedly said that if done right, kosher slaughter does not cause pain to the animal. Approximately 1 million Muslims and 40,000-50,000 Jews live in the Netherlands, a nation of 16 million. As for the European Union, it keeps bringing up kosher and halal slaughter. Jewish community leaders say that extremist animal rights groups refuse to give up and that each time lawmakers are convinced of the humaneness of kosher slaughter, the issue is reopened. One British rabbi told Kosher Today: “You would think that the Europeans would want to demonstrate their affinity for Jewish interests, but instead it’s just another generation of creating difficulty for Jews. “