EU: Firms seek compensation over kosher slaughter ban

About eighty Polish firms will take part in a lawsuit against the state after MPs voted to uphold a complete ban on kosher and halal slaughter methods.

photo – domain

“It’s not just about lost profits, but also the penalties that have to be paid, for example for contracts in Israel that are concluded on delivery,” said Jerzy Rej of the Polish Meat Association in an interview with Polish Radio.

“If someone does not fulfil a contract, he has to pay,” Rej said, stressing that compensation should be provided by the state.

The slaughter of animals without prior stunning was made illegal from 1 January 2013, after animal rights activists lobbied for the matter to be taken to Poland’s Constitutional Court, a supervisory judicial body that resolves disputes in the country’s laws.

Earlier this month, the Polish government tried to reintroduce the practice with a bill that would have allowed the slaughter methods to be applied in relation to religious customs.

However, a majority of MPs, including a small proportion from Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s party, rejected the bill, prompting outrage from Poland’s Jewish and Muslim minorities, as well as many firms in the meat industry.

Meanwhile, Polish poultry producers are also considering taking legal action.

At least a dozen companies in Poland had practised slaughter according to kosher and halal methods, prior to the ban.

Director General of the National Council of Poultry Lukasz Dominiak told Polish Radio that the council had been trying to expand its base of customers in the Persian Gulf, North Africa and South Asia.

“The ban on ritual slaughter cuts us off from these markets,” he said.

It is expected that Poland’s religious minorities will take the matter back to the Constitutional Court. (nh)