A bill in Cyprus that would have temporarily allowed kosher slaughter in the Mediterranean island country needs further study, the government said.
The Cabinet’s decision to allow kosher slaughter until the end of the year was made to help animal breeders, who have lost business due to coronavirus regulations, by opening up alternative markets in Israel and elsewhere.
The decision to recall the bill has angered the breeders along with farmers and the Jewish community. Farmers who were active in calling for the amendment said there was demand for exports of kosher meat to Israel, the English-language Cyprus Mail reported.
Jewish religious laws require that animals be conscious when they are slaughtered for their meat to be kosher. Islam has similar rules for the production of halal meat. Cyprus law now forbids the slaughter of animals without anesthesia.
Opposition to the amendment has come from Green and Animal parties, as well as animal rights groups.
The Chief Rabbinate of Cyprus condemned the recall, saying in a statement that the export of kosher meat would support the economy. The statement defended shechita, or kosher slaughter, as humane, and noted that it has European Union approval.
On Monday, Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis said the government would announce new measures to help struggling animal breeders on Wednesday. He said that EU regulations allow kosher slaughter only to satisfy the religious needs of residents in the member states and not for exports.
In addition, Kadis said, the procedure to have the kosher meat approved for import into Israel are cumbersome and it would have taken much time to meet the requirements and receive the appropriate licenses.