Poland’s constitutional court on Wednesday allowed the resumption of kosher slaughter in the country, ruling in favor of a petition to overturn a ban implemented last year.
“Jewish communities all over Europe can sigh in relief,” said a statement by the European Jewish Association (EJA), which led the drive to reallow kosher slaughter in Poland.
Rabbi Menachem Margolin, General Director of EJA, applauded the court for overturning the prohibition of kosher slaughter and voting in favor of the petition.
“This is a very important day, not only for the Jewish community in Poland but for all European Jews. We were able to prevent a dangerous precedent that would have affected all European Jewry,” said Margolin, adding that this IS not the first time that anti-Jewish laws had presented themselves in Europe.
“In the last few years, the European Jewish community has been under attack by a series of anti-Jewish laws, that if passed would hurt the ability of many Jews who wish to lead a Jewish life,” he said.
Margolin spearheaded a long struggle to overturn the law passed in November 2013, but would have only been implemented in 2015. He had also appealed to Polish Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz to overturn the law after she took office in September.
Margolin argued that the Jewish practice of “shechita” is “the most humane method of slaughter” as it ensures the welfare of the animal not only at the time of slaughter, but also concerns itself with “the conditions in which animals are raised before their slaughter.”
The EJA had previously campaigned against legislation to restrict the practice of ritual slaughter in Denmark. Following Margolin’s meetings with members of the European Commission, including Commissioner for Health Tonio Borg, the Commission promised to seek clarification on any legislation that calls for restrictions on the practice of religious slaughter.