WARSAW, Poland (JTA) — The Polish parliament apparently is set to amend the law on animal protection to allow ritual slaughter without stunning.
“We have prepared a draft amendment to the law on the protection of animals,” Agriculture Minister Stanislaw Kalemba was quoted as saying by the Polish Press Agency.
The parliament may vote on the proposal in January.
A Polish court ruled in late November that a 2004 government directive enshrining ritual slaughter was unconstitutional.
Ritually slaughtered meat is exported from Poland mainly to Muslim countries and Israel in an industry that is worth approximately $259 million per year.
Animal rights activists against ritual slaughter and supporters of ritual slaughter have been writing letters and sending petitions to government authorities.
On a website set up by supporters of ritual slaughter, Polish lawmaker Pawel Suski, a member of the ruling Civic Platform party, wrote, “Are you also supporting stoning of women?” and “in a slaughterhouse you are creating Kill Bill 4.”
Others opponents of ritual slaughter wrote, “The Jews have their own country… this is Poland, not Israel”; “Go 10 meters underground, where Hitler was preparing a place for you”; and “Poland for the Poles, not for you and the rest of the Jews.”
Supporters of ritual slaughter called on Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk to condemn Suski’s comments. Piotr Kadlcik, president of the Union of Jewish Communities in Poland, said he would write a letter of complaint to the parliamentary ethics committee. Open Republic, a Polish association against anti-Semitism and xenophobia, is considering taking legal action.
Poland reportedly intends to implement Regulation 1099 — a set of rules drawn up by the European Union that is meant to legalize ritual slaughter in the EU’s 27 member states. The regulation is scheduled to go into effect on January 1. Countries are not required to implement the rules or may implement them partially.
Approximately 6,000 Jews and 25,000 Muslims live in Poland, according to the European Jewish Congress and the US State Department, respectively.