Proposed New Rules on Shechitah Concern Some Orthodox Jews in U.k.

The British Agriculture Ministry’s new regulations on shechitah (ritual slaughter) are viewed with apprehension by some Jewish officials here who have been negotiating with the ministry.

But a spokesman for Kedassia, the kashrut supervising arm of the strictly Orthodox Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations, said he understood the final arrangements would be satisfactory.

The ministry’s new rules, to go into effect in 1992, will be presented to Parliament at the end of this month for automatic incorporation as law, unless challenged in the House of Commons.

The main change is from a rotary pen that turns the animal on its back to an upright pen. It is viewed with alarm in some ultra-Orthodox circles.

Neville Kasselman, who initiated the 4-year-old Campaign for the Protection of Shechitah, said the ministry accepted several suggested amendments to the draft regulations of July 1989.

“We are grateful, to the ministry for having respected major requirements of Jewish law,” he said.

The push for changes in the legislation appear to have been spurred by a growing movement in Europe that opposes kosher slaughter, claiming it is inhumane. Attempts to change laws governing shechitah have also been made in Sweden and Holland.

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