Kosher slaughter tiff in Holland
AMSTERDAM — Dutch Agriculture Minister Hans Bleker signed an agreement with Jewish and Muslim religious leaders and slaughterhouses that will prevent a ban on ritual slaughter.
Under the agreement signed last week, animals can continue to be ritually slaughtered as long as they lose consciousness within 40 seconds of their throats being cut. After 40 seconds they must be stunned, which is prohibited under Jewish and Islamic law. A Dutch rabbi, however, criticized the covenant as “unacceptable.”
“The government is concerning itself with issues such as how to perform the cut. That is the domain of rabbis and the Jewish community,” Lody van de Kamp, a rabbi and politician, told the daily Reformatorisch Dagblad.
The agreement comes following Animal Rights Party leader Marianne Thieme’s withdrawal in December of a bill that would have required stunning of all animals before slaughtering.
Van de Kamp represents the Council for Ritual Slaughter, a small haredi group. His organization was not involved in signing the covenant. The Jewish community was represented there by NIK, the Organization of Jewish Communities in the Netherlands. NIK said the agreement is satisfactory to virtually all parts of the Jewish community.