Meat Labelling Vote in Brussels Threatens the Future of European Kosher Meat Industry


shechitah2The European Parliament this week backed a proposal for a new regulation on the provision of food information to consumers which discriminates against shechita. Wednesday’s vote includes an amendment to the regulation labelling all meat and meat products derived from animals that have been slaughtered by shechita ‘meat from slaughter without stunning’. Henry Grunwald QC, Chairman of Shechita UK said the move would have “a significant impact on the kosher meat industry across Europe.”

The European Parliament’s vote represents a new low in the denial of civil liberties of Jews all over Europe. It firmly places a “yellow star” on meat slaughtered by shechita with the intention that consumers will now be able to identify such meat and refrain from buying it. This in turn means that the parts of the animal which the Jewish Kashrus Authorities reject as non-kosher i.e. the hind quarters and animals that have been adjudged treifo, will no longer be acceptable on the general meat market as hitherto.

Until now this meat has had ready buyers because there has been no derogatory labelling on it but from now on because such meat will be labelled that the manner of slaughter is not “humane”, buyers will not be forthcoming. The consequence will be that the price of kosher meat will sky-rocket in order to offset the loss of being unable to sell the 70% of non-kosher meat which Jews do not consume but is sold on to the general market. The viability of the kosher meat industry will now be untenable.

It has been suggested that the reintroduction of porging of the kosher hind-quarter may go some way to alleviating the problem, but this contingency would need the necessary permission of all the Bottei Din in Europe and would not be acceptable to all. There will be a second vote by the European Commission in the near future and in order for the amendment to pass into European Law it must be passed by both the EU Parliament and the EU Commission”.

{Chanoch Kesselman-Jewish Tribune UK,}


  1. I believe there are three responses:

    1) Begin treiboring the hind quarters properly rather than discarding or selling them.

    2) Sell those hind quarters frozen to other countries (US, Asia, Africa, etc.)

    3) Follow those poskim which allow stunning after Shechitoh (I understand that position is controversial)

    With prices already being high for kosher meat and the state of the world economy, the last thing Jews need is more expenses.