Search This Blog

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Lambs to the slaughter – it's not over yet

Something I hadn’t appreciated when I wrote recently about ritual slaughter on religious grounds was that all is not lost. Well, not necessarily.

We reported that the European Parliament had voted to allow shechita ritual slaughter (that’s without prestunning) – and, I daresay we can assume that this would further legitimise the Muslim halal, too, which amounts to the same thing – and we quoted the gloats of the website on the issue.

But Israel National News reported some days ago that fans of cruel methods of slaughtering animals – against, as far as the UK is concerned, the advice of its Farm Animal Welfare Council – may be celebrating too soon.

Even after EU vote, European shechita still in danger, says the headline. The story reports:

It was reported [. . .] that the European Jewish Community “hailed” the European Parliament’s vote to legalize the traditional Jewish method of slaughter into European law. However, it was later clarified that in fact, the Parliament only has consultative status in this case, and that the European Union’s Council of Agricultural Ministers will have the final say when it convenes next month.

[. . .]

Though the EU Parliament vote represents a significant victory for the coalition of the European Jewish Congress, as well the Conference of European Rabbis and Shechita EU, the fight is far from over. The Parliament resolved only to “introduce laws” that would be binding across Europe to allow animal slaughter “in accordance with religious rites.”

However, the final text of the proposed amendment to EU law will be brought before the above-mentioned Council in June – but not necessarily in a manner favorable to Jewish interests. The Council, which will convene on June 22–23 in Brno, Czech Republic, will vote on a proposal to require that all animals be pre-stunned before slaughter.

And, if that vote is passed, member states would ban shechita, which is at the moment not permitted in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, although Switzerland permits the practice for poultry only.

Rabbi Michael Melchior, former Chief Rabbi of Norway and a former Knesset Member, is quoted as saying, “I won’t say this is the only motivation, but it’s certainly no coincidence that one of the first things Nazi Germany forbade was kosher slaughter.”

Non sequitur. This suggests that the banning of shechita was some kind of prerequisite to all the shit that happened to the Jews after that. But that just ain’t necessarily so, and is clearly being used by Melchior to stir up emotion.

It will be interesting to see what happens in June.

No comments: