The European Jewish Congress, an umbrella organization for Jewish communities across Europe, hailed a new European regulation on animal slaughter agreed on Monday by the European Union Council of Ministers. The new regulation recognizes the validity of ‘shechita’ or Jewish animal slaughter according to religious methods and requires that kosher meat can be traded and sold freely in every EU member state. “The European Jewish Congress is delighted that the new EU regulation ensures that communities in member states that kill animals for food according to humane Jewish law will be able to continue doing so,’ Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress (EJC) said.
He added: “This represents a victory for the Jewish community and religious minorities generally throughout the EU.”
But he said that “we must remain vigilant to ensure that individual governments do not seek to impose new requirements on religious slaughter”.
“The regulation specifically makes provision for the killing of animals for food by religious communities to be exempted from the requirement for pre-stunning, and it contains no discriminatory labeling requirements for meat slaughtered using the shechita method nor for post-cut stunning to be enforced,” explained Aba Dunner, executive director of the Conference of European Rabbis.
“Furthermore, no member state will be able to prevent meat slaughtered according to the Jewish religious method being traded in its territory.”