Polish Ruling May End Kosher Meat Production

Jewish Groups Call Decision a Threat to Religious Freedom

By Reuters

Published November 28, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 2 of 2)

Poland was home to Europe’s largest Jewish community before the outbreak of war in 1939, but the Holocaust all but wiped it out. Nazi concentration camps including Auschwitz and Treblinka were located on Polish soil.

The Jewish community in Poland now numbers about 8,000, according to official figures, though community leaders say the real number is higher. Poland’s population stands at 37 million.

MEAT EXPORTS

Small quantities of kosher or halal meat are produced for Poland’s Jewish and Muslim communities. In addition, Polish slaughterhouses have begun exporting to countries such as Turkey and Israel, and so have increased the quantities of livestock killed in accordance with religious rules.

Jewish groups say the kosher method of slaughtering meat does not cause unnecessary suffering to the animal.

Poland has for years had a law requiring that vertebrate animals are stunned before they are killed in abattoirs. The agriculture ministry issued a decree waiving this requirement in cases where it clashed with religious rules.

The constitutional court, in its ruling this week, which cannot be appealed, said that the ministry’s waiver was unlawful and would cease to apply from the beginning of next year.

European Union legislation does allow for slaughter according to Jewish and Muslim rites, but there is uncertainty over whether, in this case, the Polish or EU legislation takes precedence.

Piotr Kadlcik, head of the Union of Jewish Communities of Poland, said that besides the substance of the court’s ruling, he was troubled by the tone of the debate surrounding it.

“The outrageous atmosphere in the Polish media surrounding shechitah reminds me precisely of the similar situation in Poland and Germany in the 1920s and 1930s,” he told Reuters.

“The style of these media reports was really similar: the (allegations of) disgusting practices and big business for a certain group of people. The tribunal may have felt obliged to react more promptly given this kind of hue and cry.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.