UK: British Government Decides To Allow Shechita Without Prior Stunning – For Now

Shmarya Rosenberg •

imagesThe British Jewish community’s shechita (Jewish ritual slaughter) defense campaign says it was successful in convincing the government to resist pressure from animal rights groups – led by the Royal Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals – and the National Secular Society to mandate the stunning of animals before shechita, The JC reported.

The UK’s Department for Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) announced that the status quo governing religious slaughter will be remain in place for both Jewish and Muslim ritual slaughter.  

Stunning animals before slaughter is not allowed under most understandings of Jewish law.

Henry Grunwald, chairman of Shechita UK, the British Jewish community’s shechita advocacy organization, said that Shechita UK is pleased that the government “remains committed” to shechita.

But Grunwald also warned that many groups remain firmly opposed to shechita and are committed to continue to work to modify shechita in ways halakha (Jewish law) does not allow – or, in some cases, to work to ban shechita outright.