Poland’s ban on ritual slaughter can only be abrogated by way of the courts and
not by way of executive fiat, a Polish government official told The Jerusalem
Post on Friday.
The official spoke in response to demands by a Jewish
organization that the government immediately “cancel” the law.
the Jewish practice of ritual slaughter, ceased in Poland in January, following
a ruling by the country’s Constitutional Court that the Agriculture Ministry did
not have the authority to exempt Muslims and Jews from an animal protection law
law requiring that animals be stunned before slaughter. In July, a government-
sponsored bill aimed at reinstituting the religious exception failed to pass in
Subsequently, the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in
Poland brought a lawsuit to the Constitutional Court, claiming that the ban
infringed religious rights guaranteed by the country’s
Ritual slaughter, which is invalidated if the animal is
first stunned, is also legal under the 1997 Act on the Relation of the State to
the Jewish Communities in Poland, which legalized the practice, the plaintiffs
Just before Succot began in mid-September, Rabbi Menachem
Margolin, director-general of the Brussels-based European Jewish Association,
announced that “the ritual slaughter ban was adopted in violation of the
European law that requires formal notification of the EU Commission for
legislation that contravenes EU regulation.”
As such, Margolin told the
European Jewish Press, he was hopeful the government would “now adopt the legal
opinion formulation and cancel the Polish parliament decision.”
European Jewish Association contends that Poland did not adequately satisfy
European Union conditions for implementing stiffer national guidelines for the
protection of animals in slaughterhouses than those required by European Council
regulation 1099/2009, which came into effect on January 1.
can only be settled by the Constitutional Court,” a spokesman for Minister of
Administration and Digitization Michal Boni, the government’s point man on the
issue of shechita, told the Post. Poland has followed all relevant EC
regulations, he asserted.
“The Polish government has written clearly on
this matter,” Polish Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich told the Post in response to
the government statement. “We are grateful that the government continues to give
such a high priority to ensuring the rights of the Jewish community in
The European Jewish Association did not respond to a request for
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