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New EU regulations recognize kosher slaughter

JERUSALEM (JTA) — New European Union rules to make slaughtering animals more humane also recognized the validity of religious slaughter methods.

EU farm ministers agreed Monday to tighten the rules on slaughter to minimize the animals’ suffering. The new regulations allow kosher meat to be traded and sold freely in every EU member state.

The regulation recognizes that animals being slaughtered for kosher consumption cannot be pre-stunned, which goes against the laws of shechita. In addition, the kosher-slaughtered meat may not be labeled in a discriminatory manner.

The European Jewish Congress hailed the EU’s recognition of religious slaughter methods.

"We are pleased with this new regulation and the significant victory that it represents for the Jewish community specifically, and religious minorities generally throughout the EU," said Dr. Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress. "At the same time, we must remain vigilant to ensure that individual governments do not seek to impose new requirements on religious slaughter."

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