Categorized | International, USA

COP condemns Walloon ban on kosher slaughter

NEW YORK (Press Release) — Leaders of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations today condemned the decision by the Walloon Parliament in the southern region of Belgium mandating all animals be stunned before slaughter, making it impossible to comply with Jewish religious requirements (shechita) for kosher meat.
Stephen M. Greenberg, Chairman and Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman/CEO, said, “The action taken by the Walloon Parliament is an affront to the religious observance of Jews and Muslims whose faiths require adherence to strict procedures for the slaughter of animals used for food and an unjustified assault on the freedom of religious practice protected by the Belgian constitution.  Animal rights experts have concluded that the method of kosher slaughter is a painless and humane method of animal slaughter.
“This new law singles out Jews and Muslims for discrimination endorsed by the Walloon government and they now face having to give up a fundamental element of their religions in order to continue living in the Walloon region.  Government sponsored discrimination has been a precursor to violence against the groups targeted by these by laws.
“As one of the first acts of the Nazi regime in Germany and carried out in the countries it occupied, banning shechita has a disturbingly tragic past in Europe.
“It is unconscionable for the elected representatives of the people in the Walloon region to dictate to Jews and Muslims, or any other faith, how they should practice their religions.
“We call on the Walloon Parliament and other regional elected officials to reverse this injustice and protect the religious rights of Jews and Muslims.”
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