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Warsaw - Polish Top Court Bans Ritual Slaughter But EU Gives Go-Ahead

Published on: November 27, 2012 02:48 PM
By: AP/VIN News
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FILE - Polish Agricutlure Minister Stanislaw Kalemba FILE - Polish Agricutlure Minister Stanislaw Kalemba

Warsaw - A top court in Poland said Tuesday that the ritual slaughter of animals by religious groups, including Jews and Muslims, violates the country’s constitution and animal protection laws.

The ruling puts it in conflict with European Union rules that allow the practice on the grounds of religious freedom.

In a victory for animal rights activists, the Constitutional Tribunal said regulations allowing for animals to have their throats cut and then bleed to death without previously being stunned are against Polish law. It also said that in issuing regulations that allow for such practices, the agriculture minister exceeded his powers and violated the constitution.

The ruling sets the stage for more discussion when an EU law goes into effect Jan. 1 allowing the practice and setting common standards among members. It gives animal rights supporters fuel for debate next year on whether Poland must comply with EU laws and to what extent.

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Poland introduced its regulations in 2004, when it joined the EU, intending to bring the national laws closer to those of the bloc.

The Agriculture Ministry has provided licenses to 17 slaughterhouses to carry out the ritual. Poland has small Muslim and Jewish minorities and also exports meat from ritual slaughter.

In a similar dispute in the Netherlands, the lower house of parliament approved a ban last year. Animal rights groups and a large anti-Islam political party — and a majority of Dutch voters — supported the bill. But after an outcry that the ban would violate religious freedoms, support evaporated when the bill was sent to the upper house.

Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, President of the Conference of European Rabbis, condemned Poland’s top court ruling saying: “This latest development in Poland is a deeply troubling challenge to a fundamental cornerstone of Jewish religious practice and yet we know from the CER’s most recent meeting with President, Bronisław Komorowski that the political will to protect Shechita is there. Our challenge is to ensure that translates into a swift resolution of this constitutional confusion.”


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Read Comments (9)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Nov 27, 2012 at 03:12 PM Wise-Guy Says:

Here we go again....

Poland outlawed Schitta in 1939, right before the majority population gave practical and/or moral support (to the Nazi invaders) for the extermination of the Jews! (Without "stunning" them first...)

2

 Nov 27, 2012 at 03:25 PM PrettyBoyFloyd Says:

It's absolutely amazing to me that Jews still live in these accursed lands. Everyday we hear trouble in Hungary, in Poland, in Russia, in France, in Germany, in Austria, in Ukraine, WHAT ARE JEWS STILL DOING IN THESE ***** COUNTRY'S?!?!
For 1200 years they've hounded us in Europe but there was nowhere else to go, but now??

3

 Nov 27, 2012 at 04:18 PM NotSoFrum Says:

Each time this happens, I wonder if they also ban sport hunting and other forms of cruel animal killing from bullets, arrows, rocks, or just crushing an animal to death with a foot stomp or a club so it can be eaten. They always single out shechita as the problem. It may not look pretty, but it is more humane.

4

 Nov 27, 2012 at 06:30 PM 5TResident Says:

Reply to #2  
PrettyBoyFloyd Says:

It's absolutely amazing to me that Jews still live in these accursed lands. Everyday we hear trouble in Hungary, in Poland, in Russia, in France, in Germany, in Austria, in Ukraine, WHAT ARE JEWS STILL DOING IN THESE ***** COUNTRY'S?!?!
For 1200 years they've hounded us in Europe but there was nowhere else to go, but now??

I completely agree. Worse than Germany, why are there Jews in Poland, of all places?

5

 Nov 27, 2012 at 06:04 PM ShmuelG Says:

Reply to #2  
PrettyBoyFloyd Says:

It's absolutely amazing to me that Jews still live in these accursed lands. Everyday we hear trouble in Hungary, in Poland, in Russia, in France, in Germany, in Austria, in Ukraine, WHAT ARE JEWS STILL DOING IN THESE ***** COUNTRY'S?!?!
For 1200 years they've hounded us in Europe but there was nowhere else to go, but now??

"WHAT ARE JEWS STILL DOING IN THESE ***** COUNTRY'S?!?!"

Well, for one, they probably learned how to spell so as not to embarrass themselves the way you did.

6

 Nov 27, 2012 at 09:30 PM benny45 Says:

Reply to #5  
ShmuelG Says:

"WHAT ARE JEWS STILL DOING IN THESE ***** COUNTRY'S?!?!"

Well, for one, they probably learned how to spell so as not to embarrass themselves the way you did.

As a matter of fact every single word of that post was spelled correctly, so most likely you're the one that needs to learn how to spell.

7

 Nov 27, 2012 at 10:04 PM frater Says:

You don't get this at all, the ruling is actually very philosemitic. There are few customers for Halal and Kosher meat in Poland so most of this meat is actually exported (sometimes to Israel). Many Jews don't like when Jewish money is spent in Poland so the court is protecting Jews from giving money to those !@#$% Poles.

8

 Nov 27, 2012 at 10:05 PM frater Says:

Reply to #1  
Wise-Guy Says:

Here we go again....

Poland outlawed Schitta in 1939, right before the majority population gave practical and/or moral support (to the Nazi invaders) for the extermination of the Jews! (Without "stunning" them first...)

Seriously...balderdash.

10

 Nov 27, 2012 at 10:23 PM frater Says:

Reply to #1  
Wise-Guy Says:

Here we go again....

Poland outlawed Schitta in 1939, right before the majority population gave practical and/or moral support (to the Nazi invaders) for the extermination of the Jews! (Without "stunning" them first...)

The funny thing about all that is that the issue opposes two sides:
Animal rights activists vs. the Party of Polish Peasants

Animal rights activists tend to be "bleeding heart liberals" who are tolerant, open--minded and less likely to hold prejudices of any kind.
The Party of Polish Peasants...well, they represent Polish Peasants. It's a PPP minister that ALLOWED Shehita several years ago because farmers realized there were profits to be made. One prominent member of the party has a farm that slaughters animals according to Muslim and/or Jewish rules - for exports.

I find it ironic that it's the peasants that are Jews' allies on this one opposing, like I said, "bleeding heart liberals" and university professors/animal rights activists.

Also, the ruling was not on shehita itself. That wasn't the issue. The issue, like the article says, was whether the Minister had the right to alter the law (which stipulates that animals have to be stunned) by means of a regulation.

11

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