Polish court asks Constitutional Tribunal to rule on ritual slaughter ban

WARSAW, Poland (JTA) – A Bialystok court asked the Polish Constitutional Tribunal to rule on whether the country’s ban on ritual slaughter is compliant with the constitutional freedom of religion.

The court turned to the tribunal last week in the case of the ritual slaughter of one cow that took place in March in the northeastern town of Tykocin. The case is on hold pending the ruling of the tribunal.

Beginning on Jan. 1, Poland banned slaughter without stunning, a requirement for kosher slaughter, or shechitah.

Urszula Sienczylo, the chief prosecutor of Bialystok, said at the time that the slaughter did not violate Polish law because the 1997 Act on the Relation of the State to the Jewish Communities in Poland states that ritual slaughter may be performed in accordance with the needs of the local Jewish community.

Animal rights activists and the local veterinary inspector appealed the decision and the case moved to the court in Bialystok.

This month, the Polish Parliament is scheduled to vote on the legalization of ritual slaughter.

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