Polish parliament votes to ban export of kosher and halal meat

A day after committee dropped bid to ban export of kosher meat, Poland's Sejm votes overwhelmingly for the ban.

Cnaan Liphshiz, JTA ,

Shechita kosher slaughter
Shechita kosher slaughter
Flash 90

Poland has moved a step closer to terminating its $1.8 billion industry of kosher and halal meat for export — one day after a parliamentary committee had removed language about a ban in an animal rights bill.

On Thursday night, the parliament’s lower house, the Sejm, voted in favor of the Law on Animal Protection. Among the 460 lawmakers, 375 backed the measure. The text on the ban was reintroduced, Tok FM reported.

The bill must still pass the Senate to go into effect.

The law, whose final text has not been published, bans the slaughter of animals without prior stunning. There is an exception for meat produced for the needs of religious minorities in Poland, according to the PAP news agency.

Meat producers affected by the ban will be compensated by the government, which will also determine the precise conditions of who may conduct slaughter without stunning, the law says.

Jaroslaw Kaczysnki, a leader of the ruling Law and Justice party, authored the legislation, which also bans breeding animals for fur and their use in circus shows.

Poland has fewer than 20,000 Jews and a similarly sized Muslim minority but is nonetheless a major exporter of kosher and halal meat.

Opponents of slaughter without stunning, which is a prerequisite for halal and kosher meat, say its cruel. Proponents of the practice say its relatively painless.



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