Greek court quashes kosher and halal slaughter authorization

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The Hellenic State Council, Greece’s highest administrative court, ruled on Tuesday to ban kosher and halal slaughter, according to the Pan-Hellenic Federation for Animal Welfare and the Environment.

The federation had asked the court to overturn a ministerial decision exempting religious slaughter from a Greek law requiring that animals slaughtered in slaughterhouses be anesthetized beforehand.

The Council of State ruled that the ministerial decision violated Greek law requiring anesthesia and failed to strike a fair balance between animal welfare and religious freedom for Jews and Muslims. The court ruled that the government should regulate the slaughter issue in a way that ensures both animal welfare and religious freedom for Jews and Muslims.

The president of the European Jewish Association (EJA), Rabbi Menachem Margolin, expressed his outrage at the decision on Wednesday, saying that “Jewish religious freedom is directly attacked across Europe by the very institutions that have defended themselves. committed to protecting our communities “.

According to the EJA, the decision follows that of the Court of Justice of the European Union last December which allowed EU countries to ban kosher slaughter in order to promote animal welfare without violate the rights of religious groups.

BUTCHER TALKS with customer at his kosher butcher shop in Buenos Aires, as Argentina scrambles to organize the arrival of rabbis from Israel to maintain kosher beef supply lines amid coronavirus restrictions on Wednesday (credit: REUTERS / AGUSTIN MARCARIAN)

The December decision encourages member states to strike a balance between issues of animal welfare and religious freedom. The EJA said that “it is now clear” that a number of EU member states are “zealously” enforcing bans, while ignoring the issue of religious freedom.

“As early as last December, we warned of the dangerous consequences of the judgment of the European Court of Justice, and now we are seeing the result,” said Margolin. “It started in Belgium, moved to Poland and Cyprus and now it’s Greece’s turn. These direct attacks come from many governments and institutions that are committed to defending their Jewish communities.”

“What we are seeing is first-rate hypocrisy,” he said. “When it comes to anti-Semitism, governments and institutions rightly support us. But when our beliefs and customs are attacked right and left by laws, they are nowhere to be found.”

The EJA leader said the organization would work immediately to demand responses from the highest levels of the Greek government, adding: “How can Jews live in Europe if you continue to legislate against us?


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