ADL: Polish Parliament’s Ritual Slaughter Vote “A Clear Violation of Religious Freedom”

New York, NY, July 12, 2013 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) condemned today's vote in the Polish parliament to prohibit kosher and halal slaughter.  The defeated bill would have allowed the practice of ritual slaughter to be conducted in a slaughterhouse.

Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:

The majority of Polish MPs gave the Polish Jewish community three choices: don’t practice your religion, don’t eat meat, or don’t live among us.

For a country still struggling to come to terms with its past treatment of Jews, it is outrageous to strike such a blow to the future of Jews in Poland.  This vote was a clear violation of religious freedom, supported by the ignorance of some and the bigotry of others.  The debate demonstrated acceptance of the false premise that kosher slaughter, which involves a single cut with a razor-sharp knife to minimize pain, is less humane than slaughter with pre-stunning by electrocution, gassing or a bolt shot to the animal's forehead.

Bigotry also surely played a role in this vote.  Our regular polling of attitudes in Poland shows a consistently high level of anti-Semitism with almost half of Poles harboring multiple anti-Semitic prejudices.

We appreciate the votes and the voices of the large minority of MPs, who stood up for religious freedom.

ADL previously urged the Polish government to resolve the legal uncertainly over ritual slaughter and expressed concern about a ruling by Poland’s Constitutional Court that created such indecision.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.