The Rabbinical Alliance of America – Igud HaRabbonim, representing over 950 America Rabbis – condemns the banning of Shechita (kosher animal slaughter) as anti-religious. Recently, the Constitutional Court of Belgium upheld an earlier court ruling approving a ban on religious slaughter without pre-stunning that was enacted by the legislatures of the Wallonia and Flanders regions of Belgium. Effectively, this decision enacts a ban on kosher slaughter by Jews, depriving Torah observant Jews in Belgium of local meat and forcing them either to import from another region at great expense or move out of the regions where kosher slaughter is forbidden by law.
Shechita, kosher animal slaughter, is an ancient and humane way to kill animals quickly and with minimal pain for consumer meat products. Shechita has been attacked for centuries and consistently defended by experts as humane and proper. Kosher butchers (shochtim) train for years to become expert in humanely and quickly slaughtering an animal in a way that is religiously and morally responsible. Lurking behind attacks on shechita lies a powerful hatred toward Judaism and Jews, and often to minorities in general.
The recent Belgian laws against shechita and the outrageous court rulings upholding those laws demonstrate widespread religious intolerance that should be unacceptable in a civilized country. The Rabbinical Alliance of America condemns Belgium’s ban on kosher animal slaughter as anti-religious, anti-minority, and anti-Semitic. The Rabbinical Alliance of America further calls on good-hearted people of all religions and nationalities to protest this grossly unjust legislation. When people of all faiths work together, we can prevail against hatred.