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In Melbourne Shabbat begins Fri 10 Apr 2020 05:41 PM and ends Sat 11 Apr 2020 06:40 PM

Review of religious slaughter guidelines

א' אלול ה' אלפים תשס"ז

The Federal Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Peter McGauran, has unexpectedly announced a review of the standards and guidelines for the religious slaughter of livestock in Australia. Religious slaughter for both halal and kosher meat requires livestock to be killed by cutting the throat of the animal. The review comes after the RSPCA raised concerns over the legality of Halal slaughters at a Victorian abattoir.

However, genuine concerns have been expressed throughout the Australian Jewish community that it is being unfairly lumbered with issues concerning Halal which is the Muslim slaughter method. The strict Kosher slaughter procedures have followed special legislative requirements for many years and are regularly checked and reviewed under State legislation to the satisfaction of the responsible State authorities. The latest action has been initiated at a Federal level. Historically, moves to alter Jewish (Kosher) ritual slaughter methods have only occurred in countries where anti-Jewish sentiments have prevailed, and the banning of Kosher slaughter was one of the first legislative enactments of Nazi Germany. If any change were to be required by law to the current practices, this would preclude all observant Jews from eating any meat produced here.

No-one is suggesting that there is any anti-Jewish sentiment within the Federal Department of Agriculture or AQIS. Nevertheless, it is disconcerting that the Department has broadened an enquiry from Halal into the well-worn Kosher field. The strictly-supervised Kosher slaughter process is used mainly for the domestic Kosher market and operates under State law jurisdictions (especially Victoria and New South Wales). It would be desirable for those commissioning any review to begin by appreciating that the Muslim and Jewish communities do not share the same problems and processes.

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Original piece is http://www.foodlegal.com.au/db/aug07_1/latest_food_law_updates

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