Belgian court protects kosher slaughter

Court nixes law that would force animals to be stunned before slaughter, effectively banning kosher meat production.

Ido Ben Porat ,

Rabbi Gigi and King of Belguim
Rabbi Gigi and King of Belguim
Moshe Fridman, CER

Belgium's Wallonia District Constitutional Court ruled that slaughter of animals in accordance with Jewish law is permitted in Belgium and will continue to be permitted.

"Limiting the number of animals permitted to be slaughtered according to Jewish law severely impacts religious freedom and harms significantly human and religious rights as they are written in Belgian law," ruled the court.

A month ago, a few Wallonian senators came out against religious slaughter and attempted to pass a law forcing Jewish slaughterhouses to stun the animal before slaughtering it, despite the fact that this would invalidate the slaughter and cause it to be non-kosher.

Belgian Chief Rabbi and Conference of European Rabbis member Rabbi Avraham Gigi said, "I see this decision as having great importance in terms of the message it sends to other European countries who are considering banning religious slaughter of animals.

"A Consistory representative met with Antwerp Chief Kashrut (kosher) Supervisor Rabbi Pinchas Kornfeld and party heads, and we explained to them the importance of slaughtering animals according to Jewish law. We also requested they not vote to limit this ritual.

"Though we felt we were listened to, the law's proposers continued to advance the law and we had no choice but to ask the Constituation Court to oppose the law, as we did in the Flemish district.

"We are grateful that logic prevailed and that Belgian law will continue to allow us to slaughter animals the way our faith teaches us."

"If, despite the court's ruling, this law is voted on, we will take the government to the Hague," warned Rabbi Gigi.



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