Ritual killing case verdict postponed
PR dla Zagranicy
Poland’s Constitutional Court has postponed a verdict until 10 December on the legality of animal slaughter according to Jewish and Muslim cultures.
Poland's Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich at the Constitutional Court in Warsaw, 03.12.2014 Photo: PAP/Tomasz Gzell
At the court hearing, Chief Rabbi of Poland Michael Schudrich said that ritual slaughter has allowed Jews to obtain kosher meat for centuries.
“This is necessary for members of that faith to comply with the rules of nutrition as prescribed by Judaism,” Schudrich said, adding that the butcher’s knife used in the slaughter must be sharp enough to kill an animal with a single swipe to the throat.
“This is a humane way,” Schudrich said.
Meanwhile, at a press conference on Wednesday evening, deputy Attorney General Robert Hernand said that he himself was having doubts about the structure of the law.
“We are dealing with some very important issues of Polish history,” he underlined.
The appeal was raised by the Union of Jewish Religious Communities which claim that a ban on these practices would infringe on their constitutional freedom to practice religion, and the right of minorities to cultivate their traditions.
According to Polish law, animals must be stunned prior to being slaughtered.
However, when butchering animals to create halal meat, Muslims traditionally follow the rite of killing the animals with a single cut to the throat, with no stunning beforehand. The same process is applied by Jews so as to create kosher meat.
In 2012, Poland’s Attorney General Andrzej Seremet lodged a complaint to the tribunal on whether ‘ritual killing’ to produce Halal and Kosher meat went against the Polish constitution which forbids the slaughter of animals without prior stunning. (rg/jb)