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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘ritual slaughter’

Quebec to Tighten Regulations on kosher, Halal Meat Production

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

Quebec’s agricultural minister is looking to tighten regulations for kosher and halal meat production.

“We want the slaughter to happen in the most complete conditions of hygiene and cleanliness,” Quebec Minister of Agriculture François Gendron said, in comments reported by Montreal radio station CJAD last week.

The minister said he would announce a plan for new regulations sometime this fall. A spokeswoman for the minister confirmed to CJAD that he still intended to release a plan, though she could not specify when.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency, or CFIA, oversees animal slaughter regulations nationally, so Quebec could only regulate meat that is produced within the province and not exported.

Dovid Russ, COO of major Canadian kosher meat operation Mehadrin, told the Jewish news website Bill613.com that new regulations would be unnecessary.

“The CFIA has one of the highest standards of food processing,” Russ said. “Quebec is trying to get more involved for absolutely no reason whatsoever.”

Quebec’s Halal Meat Association told CJAD they supported the new regulations because it could improve the public image of ritual slaughter, but said it found changes unnecessary.

“I think this misunderstanding is related to Islamophobia,” spokesman Mohamed Ghalem told CJAD.

The ruling party in Quebec, Parti Quebecois, drew flack from Jewish groups when it criticized ritual slaughter last year. In a party statement in spring of 2012, the Parti Quebecois said the slaughter of animals for halal meat production “slams directly against Quebecois values.”

“If you read between the lines there is really ethnic bashing, which in my opinion is odious, unacceptable and reeks of intolerance,” Lawrence Bergman, a Jewish legislator from the Liberal Party, told JTA at the time.

Lithuania’s Support of Ritual Slaughter May Turn the Tide

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

The Lithuanian parliament has taken the first steps to legal ritual slaughter in what could be move that turns the tide against the wave of initiatives in Europe to defend the “rights of animals” as a higher priority that freedom of religious practices.

“The fact that Lithuania currently holds the Presidency of the European Union means that this law will have an extremely strong symbolic significance for the rest of Europe,” said Jewish Congress president Dr. Moshe Kantor.

The bill passed its first reading in the parliament by a lopsided margin of 51-2.

Religious slaughter was banned in Poland on January 1 after its Constitutional Court deemed it incompatible with animal rights legislation, and there have been other attempts in Europe to ban religious traditions like circumcision.

“We face significant opposition to our traditions in Europe, but we are glad to be winning some significant victories for freedom of religion on our continent,” Kantor said. “Freedom of religion is one of the EU’s founding pillars and those who fight against it are compromising the principles of tolerance and mutual respect which the new Europe is supposed to be built upon.”

Jewish, Muslim Leaders Unite to Fight Polish Ritual Slaughter Ban

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

The directors of the Jewish Community Center of Krakow and the Krakow Islamic Center are joining forces to fight Poland’s ban on Jewish and Muslim ritual slaughter.

Jonathan Ornstein, the JCC’s executive director, and Dr. Hayssam Obeidat, director of the Islamic Center, issued a joint open letter Tuesday saying their “communities stand united and call on the Polish government and the Supreme Court if necessary to ensure that we have the right to ritual slaughter and can practice our traditions as Poland and the European Union allow.”

Poland’s Parliament this summer rejected a law that would have legalized both kosher slaughter, or shechitah, and Islamic halal ritual slaughter. The failure to legalize ritual slaughter was “a great source of distress” to both communities, Ornstein and Obeidat wrote.

“The mistaken idea that such slaughter is particularly cruel to animals goes against the very reason it is called for in the tradition of our people,” their letter said. “Muslim and Jewish practices demanding humane treatment of animals date back to the very founding of our faiths.”

They continued, “A free, democratic Poland must safeguard the rights of all its citizens whichever race, faith or group they belong to. Our two communities, Muslim and Jewish, although small in number, deserve the same rights as the majority of Poles, who are Catholic.

“While we do not feel this ruling was meant to curtail our freedom and turn us into second-class citizens, we are afraid that that is the result. We cannot help but to point out the hypocrisy of a situation which allows hunting for sport to be legal but ritual slaughter to be forbidden.”

Some 15,000 to 25,000 Jews are believed to be living in Poland, several hundred of them in Krakow. Between 25,000 and 40,000 Muslims are estimated to be living in Poland, with about 1,000 in Krakow.

Ornstein told JTA that while Jewish and Muslim leaders have been in contact about the ritual slaughter ban, he believed it was the first time the directors of Jewish and Muslim community organizations in Poland had issued a formal joint appeal or statement.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/jewish-muslim-leaders-unite-to-fight-polish-ritual-slaughter-ban/2013/08/28/

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