KRAKOW – Leaders of two Polish political parties have asked Prime Minister
Donald Tusk to take a stand and publicly support their efforts to stop Jewish
and Muslim religious slaughter in Poland.
The appeal was made by
representatives of the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) and the liberal left-wing
anti-cleric Palikot Movement, alongside several non-governmental organizations.
All the signatories urged Tusk to declare his opposition to the continuation of
ritual slaughter in Poland.
At the end of November last year, the Polish
constitutional court ruled that ritual slaughter is unconstitutional. The
court’s decision came after animal rights organizations sent a petition to
Attorney General Andrzej Seremet, claiming ritual slaughter violates the 1997
Polish law on animal protection, which states that animals cannot be slaughtered
without first being stunned.
Following the court’s decision, however,
Agriculture Minister Stanislaw Kalemba released a statement saying that
“Immediately after the announcement of the decision from the Constitutional
Tribunal, the Agriculture and Rural Development minister began to prepare a
legal solution and drafted a proposal that would allow the continuation of
ritual slaughter in Poland.”
Renata Kania, spokeswoman for Poland’s
Agriculture Ministry added that: “The Minister met with the Chief Rabbi of
Poland, Michael Schudrich, shortly after the court’s decision, to discuss these
Poland will also have to decide soon whether to implement the EU
1099 regulation of ritual slaughter. The regulation notes that the European
Union allows “derogation from stunning in cases of religious slaughter taking
place in slaughterhouses. It is important that derogation from stunning animals
prior to slaughter should be maintained,” the regulation says.
the new regulation, which went into effect on January 1, 2013, permits member
states to chose to adopt new, stricter national rules with regard to animal
slaughter without previous stunning.
The Polish parliament is scheduled
to vote on the proposed changes in the next few weeks.
Tusk, who spent
several days in the hospital last week for a throat infection, has not yet
responded to the request to publicly declare his opposition to the continuation
of the ritual slaughter in Poland.