Polish constitutional court to discuss ritual slaughter ban


WARSAW, Poland (JTA) — The Polish Constitutional Tribunal will hold a hearing to discuss the country’s ban on ritual slaughter.

The hearing will be held Dec. 3. A request for a review of the case by the Constitutional Tribunal was submitted more than a year ago by the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Poland.

“The procedure lasted a long time, but I think it was the right way,” Piotr Kadlcik, president of the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Poland, told JTA. “We hope that the tribunal will rule on the admissibility of Jewish ritual slaughter on Polish territory. This will eliminate confusion as to the legality or illegality of this kind of slaughter. It also will eliminate rumors that the slaughter is done somewhere illegally. We want it to be done according to religious principles and practices of openness and transparency.”

Ritual slaughter was banned in Poland beginning on Jan. 1, 2013, after 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. The tribunal then asked for the opinion of the Sejm, or parliament, and the Prosecutor General’s Office.

According to the Sejm, ritual slaughter for the needs of the Jewish community in Poland is legal and the person performing the slaughter cannot be punished. The Prosecutor General’s Office, however, says that “the slaughter of animals, provided by religious rites, is not permitted.”

In March, KRIR, or the National Council of Agricultural Chambers in Poland, filed a bill on the slaughter law that would legalize ritual slaughter. Parliament will take up the measure after the Constitutional Tribunal’s judgment.

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