New European bill threatens 'shechita'

Bill allows nations to demand animals be stunned before slaughter, an act forbidden by halacha.

April 19, 2009 14:30
1 minute read.
New European bill threatens 'shechita'

cattle 248.88. (photo credit: AP)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

A new EU bill which aims to lessen the suffering of animals taken to slaughter has European rabbis and Jewish communities worried that shechita (ritual slaughter) in European nations could be outlawed altogether. It has also led the Conference of European Rabbis (COE) to launch a campaign to amend the legislation. The bill, which will be discussed by the EU's Council of Ministers in approximately two months, includes various clauses which seek to ensure more humane treatment of animals. One of these would allow member states to force cattle breeders to stun the animals before the slaughter - an act forbidden by Halacha. This would create a situation in which shechita in the EU was not protected by law and could be declared illegal by any nation that chose to do so. These nations would also be free to forbid the importing of meat that did not comply with the standards of the new bill. The bill has led Jewish leaders in Europe to mount a continent-wide effort to prevent the legislation from passing in its current form. "We're working very hard now," Philip Carmel, the COE's international relations director, told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday. He said chief rabbis of member states were meeting with their respective agriculture ministers and other government officials to protest the bill. "All of the rabbis in Europe are speaking to their governments. We hold meetings. We've met with the European Commission," he said. "Every agriculture minister has personal influence on this law." He added that the COE was briefing rabbis and providing them with material, to ensure that a united message was being passed on across the map. So far, the response in countries with large Jewish communities has been generally positive, Carmel said, noting that France in particular had recently made a strong effort in the EU to pressure other countries to accept the Jewish communities' position. Others, however, such as Spain and the Scandinavian nations, were not as sympathetic, he added. And while the Jewish communities had the backing of the European Parliament on the issue, it did not have a final say and was only functioning in an advisory capacity. The final decision, Carmel said, would be reached in June. In the meantime, he added, it was encouraging to see the cooperation between the various European Jewish communities. "When Jews are in trouble, they work together," he said. "It's admirable."

Related Content

Joan Rivers
August 28, 2014
Joan Rivers rushed to hospital following throat surgery