December 6, 2010

New Zealand Jewish Community Wonders if Shechita is Really Behind Them

Auckland, NZ…Jewish leaders here are breathing a sigh of relief at news that the New Zealand government has agreed to allow Jews to resume kosher slaughter of poultry. Like many communities in Europe and Jews living in the European Union, there is always concern that hard fought victories in preserving kosher slaughter will be short-lived, perhaps falling victim to the relentless campaign by animal rights activists. The decision by Agriculture Minister David Carter came just three days before a trial was set to begin on the matter. A new animal welfare code that mandates stunning prior to slaughter prompted the country's Jewish community to ask for an exemption for shechita – kosher ritual slaughter. However, the minister rejected the request in May, and Jews in the country had begun to gear up for a legal battle to maintain kosher standards.

A temporary stay on the ban that was granted in August proved essentially ineffective due to the amount of bureaucracy involved before kosher meat packers could resume production, Jewish community sources said.