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Food News


THIS SECTION IS FOR NEWS AND INTERESTING STORIES RELATED TO FOOD, NUTRITION AND FOOD PROCESSING. THEY ARE NOT NECESSARILY RELATED TO KOSHER BUT MAY BE OF INTEREST TO THE KOSHER CONSUMER, MANUFACTURER OR MASHGIACH.

Ruling Brings Kosher Slaughterhouse New Business, Old Fears

January 28, 2021 - from Hamodia:

Quality Poultry in Csengele, Hungary is a "3 1/2-year-old slaughterhouse that supplies nearly 40% of Europe’s kosher poultry market and a large portion of the foie gras sold in Israel."

"Companies like Quality Poultry have found new export markets since the European Union’s highest court last month upheld a law in Belgium’s Flanders region that prohibited slaughtering animals without first stunning them into unconsciousness. But the European Court of Justice ruling also has provoked fears of eventual EU-wide prohibitions on ritual slaughter, and aroused memories of periods when Europe’s Jews faced cruel persecution."

"The EU has required the pre-stunning of animals since 1979, but allows member states to make religion-based exceptions. Most do, but along with Flanders and the Wallonia region of Belgium, Slovenia, Denmark and Sweden, as well as non-EU members Switzerland, Iceland and Norway, have done away with religious exemptions, meaning kosher and halal meat must be imported."

"Laws requiring the pre-slaughter stunning of animals appeared in some European countries as early as the late 19th century. Adolf Hitler mandated the practice in 1933 just after becoming chancellor of Germany, one of the first laws imposed by the Nazis."

"Jewish and Muslim groups challenged the Flanders law in Belgium’s Constitutional Court, which referred it to the European Court of Justice for a ruling on its compatibility with EU law."

"The Court of Justice’s advocate general advised the court to strike the Flanders law down, arguing it violated the rights of certain faiths to preserve their essential religious rites. But the court disagreed, finding the law 'allow(s) a fair balance to be struck between the importance attached to animal welfare and the freedom of Jewish and Muslim believers to manifest their religion.'"

"The animal welfare minister for the Brussels region of Belgium, where stunning is not mandatory, said the ruling would breathe new life into the mandatory stunning debate there. The Brussels chapter of the New Flemish Alliance, a center-right party whose members led the push for the law in Flanders, said it would now submit a proposal for an ordinance to ban slaughter without stunning in the capital region."

"The Hungarian government helped finance the slaughterhouse in Csengele, and Prime Minister Viktor Orban joined Jewish groups in condemning the court’s decision as an assault on religious freedom. "

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