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Poland May Ban Export of Kosher Meat

Poland’s ombudsman has reiterated her request to the country’s Constitutional Tribunal to make kosher slaughter legal only for local consumption.

Irena Lipowicz filed her request last year with the tribunal, asking it to make kosher slaughter legal only for the use of the Jewish community in Poland.

“The ban on exports of meat from ritual slaughter will not be burdensome for us,” Leslaw Piszewski, chairman of the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Poland, told JTA on Tuesday. Only it may be difficult to accept for the meat producers. We are in solidarity with exporters of meat from ritual slaughter for a simple reason — in the case of an export ban they will suffer heavy losses.”

Ritual slaughter without stunning was banned in Poland starting Jan. 1, 2013, after the country’s constitutional court scrapped a government regulation that exempted Jews and Muslims from a law requiring the stunning of animals prior to slaughter. Jewish ritual slaughter, or shechita, as well as Muslim ritual slaughter, requires that animals be conscious before their necks are cut.

In December, the Constitutional Tribunal ruled that the ban was unconstitutional and legalized kosher slaughter for both the local Jewish community and also for export. In July 2013, a draft bill aimed at legalizing ritual slaughter failed to pass in the parliament.

The Constitutional Tribunal did not give a date for a hearing on Lipowicz’ request.

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