State of Washington Upholds Kosher Slaughter
An animal rights group lost its appeal in the State of Washington, where a court ruled that a law allowing ritual slaughter is constitutional.
The decision came several weeks after Holland passed a bill, which has not yet been signed into law, prohibiting kosher slaughter and requiring that the “stunning” method be used. The measure faces another vote in the Dutch Senate and, if passed, a probable appeal to the European court on its legality.
The Washington appeal court ruled against Pasado’s Safe Heaven, which claimed that the state law favors religion because it requires humane slaughter by stunning or “in accordance with the ritual requirements” of a religion.
Jewish and Muslim slaughter requires that an animal be killed by severing the carotid artery, a method that independent researchers have often said is more humane than stunning.
Concerning Pasado’s argument that the state law favors religion, the court ruled that it (the court itself) cannot take legislative authority by invalidating part of Washington’s Humane Slaughter Law.
The Orthodox Union, whose OU kosher symbol is the most widely known trademark for certifying food as kosher, responded, “We appreciate the Washington State court’s ruling. Kosher slaughter has been targeted by various fringe activists, but it is a necessary component of our community’s religious life."
“We appreciate that elected officials, such as those in the Washington legislature, recognize the humane nature of shechita [kosher slaughter], and ensure its protection and thereby the flourishing of Orthodox Jewish life.”