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Sydeny, Australia - Royal Plea to PM on Ritual Slaughter

Published on: November 1, 2009 09:47 PM
By:  The Age
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Sydney, Australia - Princess Alia bint al-Hussein of Jordan has appealed to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to stop the ritual slaughter of conscious animals for halal meat in Australia.

She said its continuation would set back attempts to improve animal welfare in the Middle East.

The princess, sister of King Abdullah II of Jordan, told The Age she had written to Mr Rudd to voice her concerns that any lowering of animal welfare standards in Australia for religious reasons would be a blow to Australia’s reputation and undermine progress in the region.

She said killing without stunning ‘‘may meet the personal preferences of a minority’‘, but was ‘‘not necessary’’ under Islamic principles. Australia exports 1.3 million tonnes of red meat, of which 382,000 tonnes is certified halal.

The Australian standard on ritual slaughter for halal and kosher meat states that animals must be rendered unconscious by electrical stunning before their throats are cut. But under a disputed federal guideline, the Government has allowed at least four Victorian abattoirs exemptions to kill without stunning to fulfil Middle Eastern export contracts over the past two years.

The Primary Industries Ministerial Council of federal and state agriculture ministers will discuss the issue in Perth on Friday, but opponents of killing without stunning are concerned that exemptions will be allowed to continue, or the standard will be changed.

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The previous government ordered a review of ritual slaughter in 2007, but federal Minister for Agriculture Tony Burke has not released the review report and is yet to decide on the issue.

Princess Alia said she believed Mr Rudd had a genuine interest in animal welfare and had assisted Jordan with upgrading equipment - previously provided by Australia - that she considered inhumane at the main abattoir in the Jordanian capital, Amman.

Jordan imports more than a million live sheep and cattle from Australia each year.

Mr Burke said agriculture ministers would receive an update on technical details at Friday’s meetings.

‘‘There are a variety of views within Islam as to what constitutes halal food, and a similar range of views in Judaism as to what constitutes kosher food,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s not for government to adjudicate over these differences, but it is our role within the spectrum of faiths in Australia to promote the most humane practices.’‘

But Princess Alia said Muslims who believed animals could not be stunned before slaughter for halal meat were not educated about the true teachings of Islam.

‘‘I say this based on several fatwas and extensive discussions with the Islamic authorities who are qualified to pronounce upon such matters,’’ she said.

Mr Burke has faced increasing pressure over the ritual slaughter issue. A Labor backbencher, member for Fremantle Melissa Parke, tabled a question in Parliament last week asking why exemptions to the ritual slaughter standard were granted and what consultations had taken place with religious groups.

Ms Parke told The Age she believed all slaughter for meat production, ritual or otherwise, should require stunning under the Australian standard.

‘‘There is no excuse for the mistreatment of animals, especially when ritual slaughter for religious reasons can be - and is being - conducted in keeping with humane animal welfare standards.’‘

She said her view was consistent with Labor Party principles and that at the recent ALP conference the party had adopted an animal welfare protection statement stipulating that animals should be treated humanely.


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Read Comments (32)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Nov 01, 2009 at 09:58 PM Anonymous Says:

Who knew the Jordanians were so liberal...

2

 Nov 01, 2009 at 11:09 PM Just Wondering Says:

I was just wondering does the sensitve princess also have the same capation for jews a who are fully concios when they are blown up?!

3

 Nov 01, 2009 at 10:51 PM Anonymous Says:

The shochtim in Australia should be able to conform with whatever rules the government adopts while still respecting hilchot shechita as much as possible. In any event, given the obligations we have under "dina d'malchusa" they will have no choice but to comply with the law.

4

 Nov 01, 2009 at 10:43 PM Babishka Says:

For Eid Al Adha, Muslims slaughter goats, cows and sheep everywhere. Blood and guts runs all over the street, yet PETA is nowhere to be found.

5

 Nov 01, 2009 at 11:32 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

The shochtim in Australia should be able to conform with whatever rules the government adopts while still respecting hilchot shechita as much as possible. In any event, given the obligations we have under "dina d'malchusa" they will have no choice but to comply with the law.

uh, what are you talking about? under the "rules the government adopts" as you put it, there is no shchita, l'haluche. and stop spouting narish dina dmalchuse...thats only for diney mmenos

6

 Nov 02, 2009 at 07:30 AM Anonymous Says:

first rubashkin now this.
its a war against kashrus
I am semi vegetarian but don't want govt telling me no schechita al pi halacha
australia has largest holocaust surviving population (i think)
hundredsof thousands of yidden
if ch"vs they lose this they won't be able to shecht period

7

 Nov 02, 2009 at 07:29 AM Uri Says:

So if the Government says we can eat treife so should travel on shabbos- we say dina d'malchuse dina??

I must have learnt in the wrong Yeshiva!

8

 Nov 02, 2009 at 07:19 AM meveile utreife loi soicheili Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

The shochtim in Australia should be able to conform with whatever rules the government adopts while still respecting hilchot shechita as much as possible. In any event, given the obligations we have under "dina d'malchusa" they will have no choice but to comply with the law.

Your comment is very bad! dina dmalchise does not break the torah, dina demolchise is only when it is allowed by torah. You want to tell them to eat neveiles because dine d'malchise? If so why do the need to shecht at all, the shchita after the stunning is worthless.

9

 Nov 02, 2009 at 05:10 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #4  
Babishka Says:

For Eid Al Adha, Muslims slaughter goats, cows and sheep everywhere. Blood and guts runs all over the street, yet PETA is nowhere to be found.

They can be found at the kosher slaughterhouse

10

 Nov 02, 2009 at 02:22 AM Aussie in the know Says:

If a law is passed forbidding shchita it will be a breach of fundamental religious freedom and this principle will not be tolerated by Australians.

11

 Nov 02, 2009 at 02:20 AM Aussie in the know Says:

Firstly to this so called princess, I wish her well, but the question begs to be asked, are her people being treated any better than those animals she claims need special attention. My assumption is they the people of Jordan are worse off than any animal ready for ritual slaughter in Australia.
As I have first hand seen how the Kosher slaughtering and Halal is performed in a number of abbatoirs throughout Victoria, Australia, the processes are humane and considerably better than most countries in the world.
To argue that stunning is better than Shchita would be only noticeable at first hand glance. But in truth, stunning is conveniently done for financial purposes so that the animal does not have any residual movement after its demise. However, the animal's brain is still aware and may in fact suffer considerably after it has been stunned. Whereas Shchita cuts the nerve directly related to the animal's brain allowing its demise to be sudden and to experience next to zero pain, albeit it may have some residual movement after the initial act of cutting, but in no way is that related to its suffering after the act of shchita is performed.

12

 Nov 02, 2009 at 12:45 AM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

The shochtim in Australia should be able to conform with whatever rules the government adopts while still respecting hilchot shechita as much as possible. In any event, given the obligations we have under "dina d'malchusa" they will have no choice but to comply with the law.

"There are a variety of views within Islam as to what constitutes halal food, and a similar range of views in Judaism as to what constitutes kosher food,"

I have no idea whether there are lenient opinions in Islam that allow stunning before zevicha, but there is NO range of views in Judaism. Stunning before shechitah is not allowed, end of story. There is no lenient opinion.

13

 Nov 02, 2009 at 12:43 AM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

The shochtim in Australia should be able to conform with whatever rules the government adopts while still respecting hilchot shechita as much as possible. In any event, given the obligations we have under "dina d'malchusa" they will have no choice but to comply with the law.

"The Australian standard on ritual slaughter for halal and kosher meat states that animals must be rendered unconscious by electrical stunning before their throats are cut."

This is simply false. Kosher meat in Australia is stunned only AFTER shechitah, not before. And that is only done for beef, not for lamb or veal, and certainly not for poultry.

Stunning before shechitah is 100% forbidden.

14

 Nov 02, 2009 at 12:08 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
Anonymous Says:

uh, what are you talking about? under the "rules the government adopts" as you put it, there is no shchita, l'haluche. and stop spouting narish dina dmalchuse...thats only for diney mmenos

I'm not sure what you mean by "diney mmenos". If Australia or any country adopts a law limiting schechita, jews will have to comply or import their meat from other countries. There is NO chiyuv to eat meat or chicken; the halacha only says that if we choose to eat meat, the shechita must follow dinei kashruth. We can be vegetarians and not violate dina da malchusa. Or we can move to EY or the US.

15

 Nov 01, 2009 at 11:59 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

The shochtim in Australia should be able to conform with whatever rules the government adopts while still respecting hilchot shechita as much as possible. In any event, given the obligations we have under "dina d'malchusa" they will have no choice but to comply with the law.

the stunning of an animal before shechita is a major problem. if you want to say "dina de'malchusa" takes precedent here than the shochtim can't simply comply with the local law. they will have to stop all shechita in the country. i have family that live in Melbourn, they tell me Australia is a liberal country, but freedom of religion takes precedence over what a foreign royal who has nothing to do with the situation says. like America, Australia is a still a democracy and the Jewish vote counts. as long as that's the case the Yidden there don't have anything to worry about. and neither do we.

16

 Nov 02, 2009 at 08:14 AM ST Says:

"In any event, given the obligations we have under "dina d'malchusa" they will have no choice but to comply with the law."

so is it, that Dina D'malchusa overrides all other Laws of the Torah?

17

 Nov 02, 2009 at 08:40 AM Lawyer Says:

1. It is not true according to all poskim that dina de malchusa is limited to dinei mamonos. The Rema holds that any dina de malchusa passed le takanas ha medina must be followed.

2. Clearly, dina de malchusa cannot change hilkhos shechita. If a certain way of shechting renders the animal a neveilah (e.g. pre-shechita stunning) then dina de malchusa does not magically change the shechita into a kosher shechita.

3. As some have pointed out, there is a way to follow both: don't do shechita, and then either eat other foods (fish, eggs, dairy, vegetables) or import kosher meat. Acc. to my understanding, that is in fact what happens today in Switzerland.

That, however, is a hard way to run a kehilla, and will result in the long-term decline of the Jewish community in that country. (Also, Switzerland is right next door to France, which allows shechita, while Australia is literally on the other side of the globe from the other major Jewish communities that have kosher slaughterhouses.) Rather sad and has a whiff of anti-semitism, in my opinion.

18

 Nov 02, 2009 at 09:13 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #16  
ST Says:

"In any event, given the obligations we have under "dina d'malchusa" they will have no choice but to comply with the law."

so is it, that Dina D'malchusa overrides all other Laws of the Torah?

I think the original poster meant that if stunning the animal before shechita is mandatory, the we will have to comply with the law and not perform shechita in that country.

I find it hard to believe that the poster thinks we actually have to stun the animal before shechita...

19

 Nov 02, 2009 at 09:55 AM Anonymous Says:

Jordan should first work on it's HUMAN RIGHTS, before worrying about the ritual slaughter of animals in other parts of the world.

I didn't hear Jordan protesting the brutal beating that a Saudi Prince inflicted and had videotaped for his pleasure.

20

 Nov 02, 2009 at 11:11 AM Authentic Londoner Says:

Here in the UK, nearly all Halal meat is now pre-stunned. Pre-stunning does not seem to be an issue with Muslims.

In the UK about half of kosher meat comes from animals which have be stunned immediately post cut. I used to know why some objected to post cut stunning however it has slipped my memory. Can anyone remind me why it is forbidden by some and the source for their disapproval?

21

 Nov 02, 2009 at 11:42 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #18  
Anonymous Says:

I think the original poster meant that if stunning the animal before shechita is mandatory, the we will have to comply with the law and not perform shechita in that country.

I find it hard to believe that the poster thinks we actually have to stun the animal before shechita...

Thank you for the belated clarification. Of course I was not suggesting that we should eat treif on account of dina d'malchusa. Just that it would be sad for all the Australian yidden to spend the rest of their lives eating Tofu.

22

 Nov 02, 2009 at 02:14 PM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #20  
Authentic Londoner Says:

Here in the UK, nearly all Halal meat is now pre-stunned. Pre-stunning does not seem to be an issue with Muslims.

In the UK about half of kosher meat comes from animals which have be stunned immediately post cut. I used to know why some objected to post cut stunning however it has slipped my memory. Can anyone remind me why it is forbidden by some and the source for their disapproval?

The concern is that stunning after shechita could congeal the blood, and make kashering ineffective. Lemaaseh the halacha is not like that, but if it's possible to avoid it then it's certainly better. In Australia it used to be possible to slip the goy a few dollars not to do it, and those most careful in mitzvos used to do so; but it became too dangerous so now almost everybody accepts it, and those who don't have stopped eating beef. Chickens, lambs, and calves are not stunned; there was recently a proposal to require it, but it was BH defeated.

23

 Nov 02, 2009 at 01:56 PM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #14  
Anonymous Says:

I'm not sure what you mean by "diney mmenos". If Australia or any country adopts a law limiting schechita, jews will have to comply or import their meat from other countries. There is NO chiyuv to eat meat or chicken; the halacha only says that if we choose to eat meat, the shechita must follow dinei kashruth. We can be vegetarians and not violate dina da malchusa. Or we can move to EY or the US.

There is NO obligation to obey the law. Stop making up new torahs.

If Australia or any other country adopts a law limiting shechita, we will defy it and shecht in secret. Eating meat for shabbos, for se'udas mitzvah, or just in order to learn Torah, is more important than any obligation you imagine exists to obey the goyim's law.

We stun beheimos after shechita because it does no harm, so there's no reason to take the risk. Originally some mehadrim bemitzvos did bribe the goy to wait with the stunning until after the beheimo had stopped moving, and this was a great mitzvah, but the risk became too great, and it isn't halachically necessary, so most stopped doing this.

As for your suggestion to import meat, it is to laugh at. What makes you think they will suddenly allow us to do that?

24

 Nov 02, 2009 at 05:21 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #23  
Milhouse Says:

There is NO obligation to obey the law. Stop making up new torahs.

If Australia or any other country adopts a law limiting shechita, we will defy it and shecht in secret. Eating meat for shabbos, for se'udas mitzvah, or just in order to learn Torah, is more important than any obligation you imagine exists to obey the goyim's law.

We stun beheimos after shechita because it does no harm, so there's no reason to take the risk. Originally some mehadrim bemitzvos did bribe the goy to wait with the stunning until after the beheimo had stopped moving, and this was a great mitzvah, but the risk became too great, and it isn't halachically necessary, so most stopped doing this.

As for your suggestion to import meat, it is to laugh at. What makes you think they will suddenly allow us to do that?

" Eating meat for shabbos, for se'udas mitzvah, or just in order to learn Torah, is more important than any obligation you imagine exists to obey the goyim's law"

I've read many postings to ignore your comments but was never certain why.. This type of stupidity that yiddin in Australia should "schect in secret" and violate the law so they can increase their cholestorol and risk going to jail is illustrative of such stupidity. We are not talking about yiddin having to worship avodah zorah which might arguably warrant violating the law to avoid a chilul hashem. The ribono shel olaim will not be upset if we were to become vegetarians.

25

 Nov 02, 2009 at 06:55 PM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #24  
Anonymous Says:

" Eating meat for shabbos, for se'udas mitzvah, or just in order to learn Torah, is more important than any obligation you imagine exists to obey the goyim's law"

I've read many postings to ignore your comments but was never certain why.. This type of stupidity that yiddin in Australia should "schect in secret" and violate the law so they can increase their cholestorol and risk going to jail is illustrative of such stupidity. We are not talking about yiddin having to worship avodah zorah which might arguably warrant violating the law to avoid a chilul hashem. The ribono shel olaim will not be upset if we were to become vegetarians.

Spoken like a vegetarian. It is difficult or impossible to understand Torah properly without eating meat. See Bava Kama 72a. Oneg shabbos and simchas yomtov also require meat, at least for most people. Obviously one needn't take great risks for this, but it's important enough that in the USSR they shechted when they could, so why do you think Australia would be different? Breaking the law in Australia is a lot less risky than it was in the USSR.

It's more likely, though, that people would shecht in the open, to force the government to face what it was doing, and expose it to infamy, complete with comparisons to the Nazis; and the government knows that, so it's unlikely ever to make such a foolish regulation. Post-shechita stunning of beef was easier to pass, because it didn't arouse much opposition even among the frummest; when they tried to extend that to sheep and calves it was vigorously opposed and the idea was dropped.

26

 Nov 03, 2009 at 01:10 AM Charlie Hall Says:

Reply to #19  
Anonymous Says:

Jordan should first work on it's HUMAN RIGHTS, before worrying about the ritual slaughter of animals in other parts of the world.

I didn't hear Jordan protesting the brutal beating that a Saudi Prince inflicted and had videotaped for his pleasure.

Jordan actually has one of the better human rights records in the Arab world. Its secret police is rather mild compared to, say, Syria.

27

 Nov 03, 2009 at 01:09 AM Charlie Hall Says:

Reply to #23  
Milhouse Says:

There is NO obligation to obey the law. Stop making up new torahs.

If Australia or any other country adopts a law limiting shechita, we will defy it and shecht in secret. Eating meat for shabbos, for se'udas mitzvah, or just in order to learn Torah, is more important than any obligation you imagine exists to obey the goyim's law.

We stun beheimos after shechita because it does no harm, so there's no reason to take the risk. Originally some mehadrim bemitzvos did bribe the goy to wait with the stunning until after the beheimo had stopped moving, and this was a great mitzvah, but the risk became too great, and it isn't halachically necessary, so most stopped doing this.

As for your suggestion to import meat, it is to laugh at. What makes you think they will suddenly allow us to do that?

Rabbi Yechiel Yaakov Weinberg z'tz'l permitted stunning animals prior to shechita. (I think he may be a daat yachid.)

28

 Nov 03, 2009 at 01:08 AM Charlie Hall Says:

Reply to #23  
Milhouse Says:

There is NO obligation to obey the law. Stop making up new torahs.

If Australia or any other country adopts a law limiting shechita, we will defy it and shecht in secret. Eating meat for shabbos, for se'udas mitzvah, or just in order to learn Torah, is more important than any obligation you imagine exists to obey the goyim's law.

We stun beheimos after shechita because it does no harm, so there's no reason to take the risk. Originally some mehadrim bemitzvos did bribe the goy to wait with the stunning until after the beheimo had stopped moving, and this was a great mitzvah, but the risk became too great, and it isn't halachically necessary, so most stopped doing this.

As for your suggestion to import meat, it is to laugh at. What makes you think they will suddenly allow us to do that?

I have found that in very, very few se'udas mitzvot is meat served. Most are in the morning and dairy is served instead.

29

 Nov 03, 2009 at 01:06 AM Charlie Hall Says:

Reply to #23  
Milhouse Says:

There is NO obligation to obey the law. Stop making up new torahs.

If Australia or any other country adopts a law limiting shechita, we will defy it and shecht in secret. Eating meat for shabbos, for se'udas mitzvah, or just in order to learn Torah, is more important than any obligation you imagine exists to obey the goyim's law.

We stun beheimos after shechita because it does no harm, so there's no reason to take the risk. Originally some mehadrim bemitzvos did bribe the goy to wait with the stunning until after the beheimo had stopped moving, and this was a great mitzvah, but the risk became too great, and it isn't halachically necessary, so most stopped doing this.

As for your suggestion to import meat, it is to laugh at. What makes you think they will suddenly allow us to do that?

The countries in Europe that have banned shechita permit importing kosher meat. There is no reason to believe that Australia will be any different.

30

 Nov 03, 2009 at 01:05 AM Charlie Hall Says:

Reply to #25  
Milhouse Says:

Spoken like a vegetarian. It is difficult or impossible to understand Torah properly without eating meat. See Bava Kama 72a. Oneg shabbos and simchas yomtov also require meat, at least for most people. Obviously one needn't take great risks for this, but it's important enough that in the USSR they shechted when they could, so why do you think Australia would be different? Breaking the law in Australia is a lot less risky than it was in the USSR.

It's more likely, though, that people would shecht in the open, to force the government to face what it was doing, and expose it to infamy, complete with comparisons to the Nazis; and the government knows that, so it's unlikely ever to make such a foolish regulation. Post-shechita stunning of beef was easier to pass, because it didn't arouse much opposition even among the frummest; when they tried to extend that to sheep and calves it was vigorously opposed and the idea was dropped.

There have been some pretty prominent rabbis who were vegetarians, Rabbi David Cohen HaNazir z'tz'l and Rabbi Shlomo Goren z'tz'l to name two. The idea that it is impossible to understand Torah properly without eating meat is preposterous.

31

 Nov 04, 2009 at 03:30 AM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #29  
Charlie Hall Says:

The countries in Europe that have banned shechita permit importing kosher meat. There is no reason to believe that Australia will be any different.

That just goes to show how little you know about it. There is no way Australia will permit importing meat.

32

 Nov 04, 2009 at 09:22 PM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #30  
Charlie Hall Says:

There have been some pretty prominent rabbis who were vegetarians, Rabbi David Cohen HaNazir z'tz'l and Rabbi Shlomo Goren z'tz'l to name two. The idea that it is impossible to understand Torah properly without eating meat is preposterous.

So you know better than the gemoro?

33

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