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Oxford Students Are Trying To Ban Kosher And Halal Meat

At Somerville College in Oxford, the Junior Common Room, a student representative group, passed a motion to ban meat that was not stunned before slaughter. As Jewish law forbids the use of stunning, and it has been the subject of contentious debate among halal-eaters, this has been perceived as a ban on kosher and halal foods.

Nicole Jacobus, president of the university’s Jewish Society, said that that “the very fact that this amendment was passed in a JCR meeting without a Jewish student being able to challenge it highlights the lack of diversity and awareness of other cultures amongst students in Oxford.”

“We currently offer a kosher meal for guest nights (formal dinners) which we order in from an external kosher kitchen,” Jeevan Vasagar, Communications Manager for Somerville College, told the Forward. “Expanding the provision would mean offering that same facility for routine college meals, but the students would have to book this option in advance.” This isn’t Somerville’s first time making headlines for its menus. In the past, college principal Baroness Janet Royall banned octopus tartine from the freshmen’s welcome dinner, stating that she was “determined to move fast on widening access to Somerville.”

A debate on the ethics of kosher slaughter is raging through Europe as countries like Belgium, Sweden and Slovenia move to ban ritual slaughter, and as Poland has proposed legislation against un-stunned slaughter.

Shira Feder is a writer. She’s at [email protected] and @shirafeder

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