New Zealand Bans Kosher Slaughter by Ian Mosley Here’s a story you won’t see discussed in any detail in the mainstream media. It comes from the private Jewish news service, the Jewish Telegraph Agency. The article reports: “New Zealand has banned shechita, the kosher slaughter of animals. The country’s new animal welfare code, which took effect Friday, mandates that all animals for commercial consumption be stunned prior to slaughter to ensure they are treated humanely and in accordance with good practice and scientific knowledge. The regulation has shocked the Jewish community.” I can imagine the outrage. Jews normally tell us what Christian beliefs or traditions should be trumped by the government. The Jews are being forced to treat an animal humanely and in accordance with good practice. What’s next? Israel being forced to accord humane treatment for Palestinians? The article notes “ ‘This decision by the New Zealand government, one which has a Jewish prime minister is outrageous,’ said Rabbi Moshe Gutnick, acting president of the Organization of Rabbis of Australasia. ‘We will be doing everything possible to get this decision reversed.’ Gutnick, who travels frequently to New Zealand to oversee shechita, added, ‘One of the last countries I would have expected to bring in this blatantly discriminatory action would have been New Zealand.’ ” David Zwartz, the chairman of the Wellington Jewish Council, agreed. ‘I am sure there will be objections made that this action is an infringement of the right of Jews to observe their religion,’ he said. Agriculture Minister David Carter rejected a recommendation that shechita be exempt from the new code. The National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee did recommend a dispensation for kosher slaughter in 2001, but the new code does not allow any exemptions. Among other countries that have banned shechita are Iceland, Norway and Sweden.” No one who has ever seen a film of kosher slaughter can deny that the ritualistic butchering of cattle and birds is horribly cruel. The animal is hung upside down by one leg, alive and conscious, and the kosher butcher slashes the throat with a single stroke accompanied by a chant in Hebrew. The animal then bleeds to death. What most likely will happen here is that some kind of special exemption will be made to exempt Jews (but not Muslims) from the new law. My guess is that one of the main purposes of this law, if an unspoken one, is to discourage Muslim immigration. However, it will be an interesting exercise in Jewish power to see how they somehow enforce their alleged divine right to be cruel to animals. And it would do us all good to remember that the Jewish definition of “animal” includes all non-Jewish human beings.