The Dutch government may exempt the country’s only kosher slaughterhouse from a newly introduced export ban, which the Jewish abattoir says is financially devastating.

Caspar Itz, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Economic Affairs, said this in an email Tuesday to JTA. He was replying to JTA’s questions following the publication of a letter penned by the lawyer of the Slagerij Marcus abattoir. The letter said that the slaughterhouse will not survive the implementation of a government policy paper from July 5, which said the production of meat without stunning will be limited to the needs of faith communities in the Netherlands.

“Upon request, special circumstances may be taken into account” when it comes to the de facto ban in export, Itz wrote. His letter did not say whether such an exception will apply to the Jewish-owned abattoir specifically.

The limitation on the export of kosher and halal meat came in an agreement signed by Economic Affairs Minister Martijn van Dam and Muslim and Jewish faith and community leaders, including from the Organization of Jewish Communities in the Netherlands, or NIK. An extension of a 2012 agreement on the production of kosher and halal meat, it introduced a new stipulation on export.

A clause in the document signed July 5 states that meat may be produced without stunning the animals, as is common in kosher slaughter, but that such meat will “not exceed the actual needs of communities present in the Netherlands.” The slaughterhouse’s lawyer, Herman Loonstein, wrote to NIK that this stipulation means bankruptcy for Slagerij Marcus, which relies on export for approximately 40 percent of its revenue.


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