Polish Court Bans Kosher Slaughter
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
A constitutional court in Poland has reportedly ruled against allowing Jewish and Muslim ritual slaughter.
The JTA reports that the court’s ruling, publicized earlier today, says the government acted unconstitutionally when it exempted kosher and halal slaughter from the requirement to stun animals immediately before slaughter.
Piotr Kadlcik, president of the Union of Jewish Communities in Poland, told JTA that along with the special exception the court struck down today, shechitah, kosher slaughter, is also permitted under the 1997 Law on Regulating the Relations between the State and the Union of Jewish Communities in Poland.
“It appears there is a legal contradiction here and it is too early to tell what this means,” he said. "We are seeking legal advice on this right now,” Kadlcik reportedly said.
Poland has about 6,000 Jews but no kosher slaughterhouses.
Even so, locally slaughtered kosher meat is still produced and sold, mostly at Jewish community-run stores and restaurants.
Kadlcik told the JTA that in light of today’s ruling, he is not sure if the Jewish community will be able to continue to sell or provide kosher meat.
While most rabbis ban stunning animals even after the kosher slaughter has taken place, some – including the Sridei Eish and the Chief Rabbi of Holland – allow animals to be stunned immediately after their throats are cut by the ritual slaughterer, known as a schochet.
It is unclear whether that option will be considered by the Polish Jewish community or allowed by Poland’s Constitutional Court.
[Hat Tip: Yochanan Lavie.]