Polish constitutional court to review ban on ritual slaughter


WARSAW, Poland (JTA) – A Polish court has agreed to review an appeal of the country’s ban on ritual slaughter.

Representatives of Jewish community were informed on Tuesday that the Polish Constitutional Tribunal will consider the appeal they filed.

“It’s a promising sign on the eve of Hanukkah,” Piotr Kadlcik, president of the Union of Jewish Communities in Poland, told JTA. “We believe that this issue can be resolved by legal mechanisms functioning in Poland.”

The application of the Union of Jewish Communities was submitted to the tribunal in August. The appeal will be considered by the full tribunal, which is at least nine out of 15 judges. A date for the tribunal session has not yet been set.

In July, the Polish Parliament rejected a draft amendment to the law on the protection of animals that would have allowed ritual slaughter, or shechitah, to be performed in accordance with the needs of the local Jewish community.

“The legal situation of the Jewish community, whose duty is among others overseeing the supply of kosher food and ritual slaughter, became unclear,” the Jewish community said in a statement after it submitted its appeal to the tribunal.

The Polish Muslim Union decided not to fill a separate appeal. Mufti Tomasz Miskiewicz believes that there is no ban on ritual slaughter in force because the Polish government has not notified the European Commission of the law on the prohibition of ritual slaughter.

Last November, Poland’s constitutional court scrapped a government regulation exempting Jews and Muslims from a law requiring the stunning of animals prior to slaughter. Muslim and Jewish ritual slaughter requires that animals be conscious before their necks are cut.

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