Press Conference ant the European Commission
Press Conference ant the European CommissionEuropean Jewish Association

The CEO of the European Jewish Association (EJA), Rabbi Menachem Margolin, along with the Chief Mufti of Poland Tomasz Miskiewicz delivered an official complaint to the European Union (EU) against Poland over its ban of ritual slaughter (shechita).

The complaint against Poland was presented on Wednesday at a press conference in the European Commission building in Brussels.

Rabbi Margolin noted "the Jewish commandment of kosher shechita has been observed throughout the world for over 3,000 years. It is very disappointing to see that precisely in Poland Jews can't live according to their faith in the year 2013. We will continue fighting to allow Jews and Muslims to conduct a traditional lifestyle in Poland."

In the past EJA has called on Jewish organizations worldwide to unite in reversing the decision. In this latest move, EJA has joined forces with Polish Muslims who are similarly affected by the ban on ritual slaughter.

The complaint argues that the ban on ritual slaughter is a violation of EU regulations, which have been authorized by Poland, that stipulate animals do not need to be stunned before shechita is performed.

Furthermore, the complaint claims the ban creates uncertainty as to the validity of regulations established by EU institutions.

In conclusion, the document demands an immediate investigation into the complaints by the European Commission, and if necessary calls for the case to be passed to the High Court of Justice of the EU.

There still has not been resolution on the ban, even though Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski said in early November on a state visit to Israel "our constitutional court is currently examining the (shechita ban) matter, and I hope that their decision will ensure freedom of religion and ceremony for all religions."

Meanwhile the Catholic Church in Poland has similarly been supportive of efforts to repeal the ban.

The Polish organization representing the Catholic Church in October released a statement asserting that Jews and Muslims have the right to perform ritual slaughter and observe their religions.