Future of Shechitah Remains Uncertain in New Zealand


shechitah1The future of shechitah in New Zealand remains unclear this week, despite the local community making a new submission to Minister for Agriculture David Carter.

Chairman of the New Zealand Jewish Council Geoff Levy said information requested by the minister had been supplied, with the community now awaiting a response.

While an email to this effect is being circulated around the community, Levy said some members are taking action into their own hands, writing letters to newspapers, complaining to local members of Parliament and “responding in a variety of ways”.
“We are in a very difficult state,” Levy told The AJN.

Levy confirmed discussions had taken, and continue to take, place between his community and various Australian organisations.

Condemning the legislation change, the Council of Orthodox Synagogues of Australia (COSA) issued a statement this week saying the shechitah decision “impinges on the rights of Jews to freely practice their religion”.

“It expresses the gravest concern that this decision has been taken without appropriate and full consultation with Jewish religious authorities regarding the humanity and necessity of slaughter according to Jewish law,” the statement read. “We stand by our New Zealand counterparts in their efforts to redress any misapprehensions that may have occurred at Government level.”

The COSA also said the legislation “runs counter” to the religious freedom laws in New Zealand’s Bill of Rights Act.

Further, COSA asserts that the decision “is inconsistent” with the report of the New Zealand National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee, which recommends that a dispensation for shechitah be continued, despite the organisation’s commercial slaughter code that calls for the electrical stunning of animals and the gassing of poultry before slaughter.

It has been two weeks since Minister Carter issued a new animal welfare code “to ensure animals are humanely killed”.

Among the new regulations is a requirement that animals be electrically stunned before slaughter, meaning that it is no longer possible to provide halachically acceptable meat in New Zealand.

While the Kiwi community can import some kosher meat from Australia, bio-security laws prevent the importation of chicken, meaning no kosher chickens are available in that country unless an exemption is given to the Jewish community.

{JewishNEws.net.au/Noam Amdurski-Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. Can’t you find a decent picture to put up other than cutting the off of a chicken’s head every time there’s a shchitta issue?