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Poland Bans Ritual Slaughter of Animals

Categories: Poland, Ethnicity & Race, Governance, Law, Religion

Online magazine Commentary [1] and many others have been discussing the decision of the Polish government to ban ritual slaughter of animals, in accordance to humane slaughter practices, which many EU countries have recently been leaning towards. For Poland however, this decision is a controversial one, in light of its history and significance to the Jewish community in the country and world-wide:

The news that the Sejm, the Polish parliament, has rejected a government-sponsored bill to protect ritual slaughter, in both its Jewish and Muslim variants, suggests that, sadly, Jews and Poles are facing opposite directions when it comes to religious freedom. As a result of the vote, which comes on the heels of last year’s supreme court ruling that ritual slaughter, or shechita, is no longer exempted from requirements to stun animals prior to killing them, the production of kosher meat has effectively been banned in Poland.

[…] Poland is not the first country to ban shechita – European states from Norway to Switzerland have also prohibited its practice–but its historic position as the cradle of the Holocaust means that extra scrutiny of any legal measures against Jewish rituals is inevitable.