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Move to protect kosher slaughter earns praise

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BERLIN (JTA) — The Conference of European Rabbis welcomed moves by a European Parliament committee to protect the right to kosher slaughter.

In Monday’s vote, the agricultural committee decided not to require the stunning of an animal before slaughter, said Phil Carmel, a spokesman for the Orthodox rabbinic organization based in Brussels. In addition, the committee rejected the proposal to label all meat coming from animals not stunned before slaughter.

"It would have been like putting a yellow star on the meat," Carmel said.

The committee’s vote will go to the Council of Ministers in May for a final vote, Carmel said, along with some 200 other measures related to the humane treatment of animals.

Had the committee decided otherwise, "it could have led to the effective banning of shechita [kosher slaughter] in Europe," Carmel told JTA in a call from Brussels. "This is not the end of the battle,  but it is certainly a very positive development."

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