Polish government will back challenge to ritual slaughter ban

Agriculture Minister Stanislaw Kalemba will support Poland’s Jewish and Muslim minorities in a prospective bid to reintroduce kosher and halal slaughter methods.

Speaking to journalists in Brussels, Kalemba criticised Friday’s vote in Poland’s lower house of parliament, which rejected a repeal of the ban.

Kalemba said there were “constitutional doubts” about the ban, stressing articles in the constitution preserving the traditions of national minorities and the cultivation of rites by religious groups.

He affirmed that the minorities may now lodge a complaint with Poland’s Constitutional Court, a supervisory judicial body that resolves disputes in the country’s laws.

“Now the right belongs to the religious minorities which, in accordance with the constitution, have the right to submit a complaint for non-compliance with the constitution,” he said.

“My mind is clear. In order to preserve traditions, customs, culture this law [rejected on Friday] should be adopted, allowing for slaughter as part of these rites.”

Kalemba said prior to Friday’s vote that over the last few months, following the initial ban, Polish exports of meat to Israel and Islamic countries had fallen by 70 percent.

TheNews, 16 July 2013