Kosher Slaughter Bill Loses in Poland Parliament

'Sad Day' — Jews Plan Push After 222-to-178 Vote

By JTA

Published July 12, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

A government draft law to allow religious slaughter in Poland was defeated in parliament.

“Jewish communities across Europe will be incredibly distressed that the Polish parliament has voted not to protect the religious freedom of its Jewish and Muslim citizens,” Pinchas Goldschmidt, President of the Conference of European Rabbis, said in statement about the vote Friday.

The draft law would have allowed ritual slaughter provided it is done only in slaughterhouses. It also excluded certain forms of immobilizing the animal. The bill was defeated by 222 to 178.

Until January, Poland made about 500 million euros per year exporting kosher and halal meat to Israel and Muslim countries like Egypt and Iran. But the business practically ground to a halt that month, after a constitutional court ruled the state had no right to allow religious slaughter. The ruling was made on a petition filed by animals’ rights groups.

Poland’s for-export industry of kosher and halal meat provides about 6,000 jobs at a time when around 13 percent of adult Poles are without a job, according to Business Week. On Wednesday, dozens of Polish farmers marched in Warsaw in a rally in support of the now-defeated draft law.

“The result of today’s vote in the Sejm is extremely disappointing,” a spokesperson for Shechitah UK, a non-profit working to repeal efforts to ban the practice, told JTA. “It represents the lowest point in the campaign to protect Shechita in Europe.

“Shechita UK will work together with [Polish] Chief Rabbi [Michael] Schudrich in Poland and the Conference of European Rabbis to offer whatever assistance we can as the campaign to deal with this latest setback is adapted,” the spokesperson said.

The Conference of European Rabbis also said it was “alarmed by the level of disinformation that has characterized the parliamentary debates” on the issue.

“We will be seeking an urgent meeting with the Polish Prime Minister,” the conference said in a statement. “We will also be exploring what our legal options at E.U. level might be at this stage. This is very sad day for the Polish Jewish community and indeed for all of European Jewry.”


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!
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
  • How can 3 contradictory theories of Yiddish co-exist? Share this with Yiddish lovers!
  • "We must answer truthfully: Has a drop of all this bloodshed really helped bring us to a better place?”
  • "There are two roads. We have repeatedly taken the one more traveled, and that has made all the difference." Dahlia Scheindlin looks at the roots of Israel's conflict with Gaza.
  • Shalom, Cooperstown! Cooperstown Jewish mayor Jeff Katz and Jeff Idelson, director of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, work together to oversee induction weekend.
  • A boost for morale, if not morals.
  • Mixed marriages in Israel are tough in times of peace. So, how do you maintain a family bubble in the midst of war? http://jd.fo/f4VeG
  • Despite the escalating violence in Israel, more and more Jews are leaving their homes in Alaska to make aliyah: http://jd.fo/g4SIa
  • The Workmen's Circle is hosting New York’s first Jewish street fair on Sunday. Bring on the nouveau deli!
  • Novelist Sayed Kashua finds it hard to write about the heartbreak of Gaza from the plush confines of Debra Winger's Manhattan pad. Tough to argue with that, whichever side of the conflict you are on.
  • "I’ve never bought illegal drugs, but I imagine a small-time drug deal to feel a bit like buying hummus underground in Brooklyn."
  • We try to show things that get less exposed to the public here. We don’t look to document things that are nice or that people would like. We don’t try to show this place as a beautiful place.”
  • A new Gallup poll shows that only 25% of Americans under 35 support the war in #Gaza. Does this statistic worry you?
  • 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.