Response to Shechita Ban

Feb 26, 2014

Jewish Communities join forces to fight Danish shechita ban

The Conference of European Rabbis (CER) in partnership with the European Jewish Congress (EJC) has launched a Europe-wide campaign in response to the ban on religious slaughter in Denmark.

A meeting with Danish Agriculture Minister, Dan Jørgensen took place on Friday at which Chief Rabbi Bent Lexner, and Mr Finn Schwarz, represented the Jewish community and Halal Denmark represented the Muslim community.

At the meeting, Mr Jørgensen apologised that he had not met with representatives of the communities before instituting the ban and accepted that he should have done so. Mr Jørgensen further explained that he would be guided by the scientific evidence available on this topic and invited the Jewish community to submit evidence to support its position that shechita is no less humane than any other method of conventional, industrial mechanical stunning and slaughter.

The CER and EJC are now using their respective networks across Europe to encourage representatives of Jewish communities to lobby local Danish Embassies expressing the strength of feeling on this issue across the continent. Both groups will also be taking responsibility for compiling the scientific material to present to the Danish Government. Contact has been made with the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs to discuss ways in which European communities can work with the Israeli Government as part of the response.

Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, President of the Conference of European Rabbis: “This ban could have very serious implications for Jews across Europe and therefore this campaign is both crucial and urgent. We are calling for leaders of Jewish communities across Europe and indeed the world to help us respond to this attack on religious freedom in the strongest terms.”