The European Parliament will postpone any decision on shechita, the kosher Jewish slaughter of animals, Israel’s Chief Rabbi Yonah Metzger said in Brussels.
Metzger spoke Monday evening at the European Parliament at an event marking the 10th anniversary of the founding of the Rabbinical Centre of Europe, an organization representing over 700 European religious leaders dedicated to meeting the needs of Jewish communities in Europe.
Among the topics raised by Rabbi Metzger in his speech were multiculturalism, anti-Semitism but also attempts in Europe to ban or curtail Jewish practices like shechitah or Jewish ritual slaughter.
“We asked the European Parliament to postpone the discussion on shechita and we were told that the debate has been put off for at least two years,” he said.
“This is great news for the Jews of Europe and for Jews in the whole world, because what starts in Europe could reach other places too.”
The EU parliament was due to discuss in July an amendment calling for all meat products that undergo shechita to be labeled “meat from slaughter without stunning.”
EJP has learned that the European Council and EU Parliament agreed that the new food information regulation will not include the amendment.
But they have also agreed to include an accompanying statement to the bill which states that the proposal to label kosher meat should be looked at as part of the upcoming review of animal welfare legislation.
Several Jewish organizations, including the Rabbinical Center of Europe, have lobbied against the amendment which, they say, “is discriminatory and would be a major blow for European Jewry.”
Monday’s event was attended by several MEPs, over 150 rabbis, lay leaders of the Jewish community and Israel’s Minister of Religious Affairs, Yaakov Margi.