Kobi Nahshoni – YNet
The European Union’s parliament on Wednesday reaffirmed an amendment to it constitution, increasing the supervision and monitoring of religious animal slaughter across the continent.
The amendment was passed in order to avoid and prevent unnecessary animal cruelty, as well as to ensure the freedom of religious practices throughout Europe, and did not place any restrictions on Europe’s Jewish communities’ custom of kosher slaughter.
The Jewish tradition considers the custom of kosher slaughter as a highly serious responsibility and one which emphasizes to great extent the need to avoid any unnecessary suffering of the animal.
The hearing saw some of the parliament’s liberal and green parties’ members call for banning kosher slaughter, as well as for a ban on importing meat from any European country which will not enforce the amendment, but their motion was denied.
The proposal was quashed largely thanks to the efforts of the European Jewish Congress and the Conference of European Rabbis. Both groups called the issue “critical to freedom of religion in Europe.”
The Conference of European Rabbis did note, however, that it still had to fight to ensure that the new law, which still has to pass a final vote in June, will not include any demand to stun animals used in religious slaughter.
“The unique Jewish method of slaughtering animals for food has always been accepted as a fundamental right of Europe’s Jewish citizens,” said British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks. “Accepting the customs of minority peoples is one of the fundamental pillars which Europe’s liberal and democratic nature stems from.”