Denmark to ban halal and kosher slaughter methods


World Bulletin

Denmark’s Agriculture and Food Ministry has announced that as of Monday the Jewish and Muslim traditional method of animal slaughter will be banned in the country, following similar measures already in place in Poland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland.

A new law requires that all animals are stunned before being slaughtered, which is contrary to Islamic and Jewish teachings. This means that observant Muslims and Jews living in Denmark will no longer be able to purchase their meat from local butchers, and will have to buy imported halal and kosher meat instead.

The ministry argues that halal and kosher slaughter methods are unethical and that religious rights do not come before animal rights. However, Muslims and Jews insist that their slaughter methods cause minimal suffering to the animals.

European Commissioner for Health, Tonio Borg, condemned the ban, saying that it “contradicts European law.”

Agriculture and Food Minister Karen Hækkerup, acknowledged that Muslims and Jews were upset by the new measures, but vowed that the ministry would not change its policy.


Regarding Halal poultry in Denmark dated March 2011:

Regarding Halal meat in Denmark dated September 2011:

Any updates on these articles would be appreciated, especially regarding the current situation with non stun Halal slaughter in Denmark. Is it even available there?


Danish Jewish Leader Disputes Report of Ban on Kosher Slaughter
The president of Denmark’s Jewish community has disputed a government minister’s claims that new regulations would outlaw all kosher slaughter in the country. “We find this an odd statement,” Finn Schwarz, the community’s president, told JTA on Thursday about statements made earlier in the week by Agriculture Minister Dan Jorgensen to the Ritzau news agency.
Jorgensen was speaking about slaughter without prior stunning — a requirement for kosher certification of meat in Jewish Orthodox law and for halal certification of meat for observant Muslims. Jorgensen said, “I am in favor of religious slaughter, but it must be done in a way that does not bring pain to the animal. This can be accomplished only by stunning.”
Danish Jews already agreed in 1998 to the certification as kosher of meat from cattle that were stunned with non-penetrative captive bolt pistols, Schwarz said, adding that the decision was made in consultation with the British Chief Rabbi’s office. The new regulation will not ban the slaughter of animals after stunning with non-penetrative captive bolts, he added.
The new regulations, regardless of how they are interpreted, do not directly affect Denmark’s 6,000 Jews because there are not kosher slaughterhouses in the country. All kosher meat is imported. The European Jewish Press reported Thursday that European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy Tonio Borg told a Jewish leader during a meeting in Brussels that the new Danish legislation regulating ritual slaughter in the country contradicts European laws that ensure the right of religious groups to perform ritual slaughtering. Jewish Orthodox law and Muslim law require animals be intact and conscious when they are killed. Non-penetrative captive bolts were permitted because they do not wound the animal, which is slaughtered immediately after being knocked on the head. Rabbi Yitzi Loewenthal of Copenhagen said the agreement on the use of captive-bolt, non-penetrating pistols may have applied to post-cut stunning, a procedure in which the animal’s head is knocked immediately after its neck is cut. Some rabbis have allowed the procedure elsewhere in the world. However, because shechitah is not regularly performed in Denmark, some issues regarding the procedure are not immediately clear, Loewenthal said.Read more at:

Hypocrisy: Rabbis, Israeli Politicians Lash Out Against Danish Slaughter Ban – Even Though There Has Been No Commercial Kosher Slaughter In Denmark For A Decade
Shmarya Rosenberg •

Kosher slaughter is the most humane of all existing methods [of slaughter] and prevents animal suffering,” Israel’s haredi Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau said late last week with absolutely no proof to back up his statement.

Lau and other Israeli politicians, including Minister of Religious Services Naftali Bennett and Deputy Minister of Religious Services Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan lashed out late last week, Ynet reported against a new Danish regulation instituted by the Danish Agriculture and Food Minister Dan Jørgensen that effectively bans shechita (kosher slaughter) by banning all slaughter of animals that have not first been stunned or anesthetized.

“I will speak to Denmark’s ambassador to Israel and government officials in Denmark, and if this serious decision has indeed been made, we will demand its cancellation. This is a serious and severe blow to the Jewish faith and to the Jews of Denmark!” Lau fumed.

However, there has been no kosher slaughter in Denmark for over a decade and the new regulation has no practical effect on the Danish Jewish community. The regulation will most likely only impact halal (Muslim) slaughter.

Even so, on Thursday, Bennett spoke to prominent European Jewish leaders, including President of the Conference of European Rabbis Pinchas Goldschmidt, Denmark’s Chief Rabbi Bent Lexner and Chabad’s emissary to Denmark, Rabbi Yitzchok Lowenthal.

“We will stand by the Jewish community and look into ways to help them as soon as possible. This decision benefits neither the animals nor Jewish tradition nor human rights,” Bennett said afterward, citing no evidence to support his animal welfare claim while adding that he had both offered to help Denmark’s Jewish community and instructed Religious Services Ministry workers to monitor the situation and to try come up with solutions to it.

Meanwhile, Bennett’s deputy lashed out at Denmark and called Jørgensen’s decision anti-Semitic.

“European anti-Semitism is showing its true colors across Europe, and is even intensifying in the government institutions. I urge the Danish ambassador to prevent the implementation of the decision to ban kosher slaughter. [Israeli Foreign] Minister [Avigdor] Lieberman must summon him for a clarification,” Ben Dahan fumed.

However, Rabbi Yair Melchior, the Chief Rabbi of Copenhagen – the city where over 90% of Denmark’s 6,000 Jews live – told IDF Radio today that Jørgensen’s decision was not anti-Semitic, Arutz Sheva reported.

“It is definitely not anti-Semitism. This minister is known for his animal rights activism. To say ‘anti-Semitism’ is not only inaccurate, it hurts the cause,” Melchior said.

The Conference of European Rabbis also lashed out against Jørgensen’s decision, insisting that Jørgensen’s statement that “animal rights come before religion” is outrageous, contradicts the European Convention, and violates freedom of religion and conscience. “Although there is no organized kosher slaughter in Denmark, and the decision came following the Muslim’s halal slaughter, there is a lot of anger in the European Jewish world over this shameful decision,” the Conference of European Rabbis head, Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, insisted.

Jørgensen did tell Denmark’s TV2 television news last week that “animal rights come before religion.” But Jørgensen added that he supports ritual slaughter as long as unnecessary animal suffering is eliminated. And that, Jørgensen said, can only be done by stunning animals before they are slaughtered.

Some Muslim imams allow pre-stunning and the slaughter they endorse would not be banned by Jørgensen’s ruling.

Meanwhile, Rabbi Menachem Margolin, the head of a Chabad front group, the European Jewish Association (EJA), reportedly sent a letter to the Danish Ambassador to the European Union, the Danish prime minister and parliament speaker, insisting that the new slaughter ban “hurts Jews not only in Denmark, but in other places across Europe.…Kosher butchering is essential for the continuation of Jewish life.” Margolin reportedly vowed that his organization would “fight against this injustice vigorously” just as is doing against a similar ban in Poland and against a proposed ban on ritual circumcision in Norway.

Last week, a top aide to Poland’s Orthodox chief rabbi – and, arguably, the chief rabbi himself – was caught lying to the government about kosher slaughter, claiming animals he wanted to have kosher slaughtered would be pre-stunned when that was in fact a lie. The revelation caused a nationwide scandal Margolin and the rest of the rabbis and politicians criticizing Denmark have failed to address.

Margolin – who is widely considered to be a rabble-rouser and a thug by non-Chabad rabbis – also reportedly discussed the Danish ban with European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy Tonio Borg.

Margolin reportedly says Borg told him that the slaughter ban contradicted European Union law that ensures the right of religious groups to perform ritual slaughter.

Margolin said he plans on asking the Danish government for clarification on this issue.

Horrific animal abuse has been documented at the world’s largest glatt kosher slaughterhouse, the Chabad-hasid-owned Agriprocessors in Postville, Iowa; at a veal slaughterhouse, Catelli Brothers in New Jersey, producing glatt kosher veal for the Satmar-hasid-owned Meal Mart / Alle Processing; at Israel’s largest glatt kosher slaughterhouse producing the Adom Adom brand; at Israel’s largest kosher deli producer, Soglowek; at South American slaughterhouses producing glatt and kosher meat for Israel and the US; and at several smaller European slaughterhouses producing glatt and kosher meat for European consumption. Similar abuses were also found at some halal slaughterhouses, as well.

The USDA found against Agriprocessors and Catelli Brothers and shut down Catelli Brothers for almost three weeks. The case against Adom Adom resulted in criminal charges in Israel against some of the worst animal abusers and charges may still be filed in the Soglowek case.

Late last year, Lau ruled that the meat produced by Soglowek was not kosher due to the animal abuse, but he quickly walked back that ruling late last year after being attacked by a large number of haredi rabbis who insisted the abuse did not violate kosher food laws.

Bennett, Ben Dahan, Goldschmidt and Margolin have all failed to address these scandals and the Israeli and world Jewish news media has largely reported the story of Denmark’s new slaughter ban completely without context, making no mention of the new Polish scandal or the many humane slaughter violations documented at kosher slaughterhouses worldwide – violations, some argue, that are largely unnecessary and which result primarily from uncaring rabbis and bad practice.