Jerusalem Post: “Top European rights court upholds Belgian ban on kosher slaughter”

“Restrictions on fundamental aspects of Jewish religious freedom of expression, coupled with a background of massive increases in antisemitic attacks on Jewish communities, lead us to seriously consider whether Jews have a future in Europe,” Ariel Muzicant, head of the European Jewish Congress, said in a statement.

“We are already seeing attempts across Europe to follow this Belgian ban, now sadly legitimized by the ECHR,” Muzicant added. “Jewish communities in Europe, now more than ever, need the protection of national governments and pan-European organizations to ensure that thousands of years of Jewish life on this continent do not come to an abrupt end.”

The bans added Belgium to a number of EU countries where ritual slaughter is illegal, including Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia and Slovenia. In 2011, the Netherlands briefly joined the list, but the Dutch Senate reversed the ban in 2012, citing freedom of worship. Poland also outlawed ritual slaughter in 2013 but has since scaled back the ban to include only meat for export.

Advocates of the customs say that in addition to being required under religious law, they result in no greater suffering to animals than mechanized slaughter methods with higher malfunction rates and less attention to individual animals.

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