European Bill Requires Kosher-Meat Labeling

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Publication: Jewish Exponent
Date published: April 28, 2011

NEW YORK (JTA) - A European Parliament committee has approved a bill that would require meat that was not stunned before slaughter to be labeled as such.

The amendment to the new European Union food-labeling bill passed the Environmental and Consumer Affairs Committee by a vote of 34-28.

The meat would be labeled "unstunned before slaughter."

The food- information bill will come before the entire European Parliament for a second reading and vote in July.

The amendment had been rejected by the Parliament on the bill's first reading last December.

Animals being slaughtered for kosher consumption cannot be pre-stunned, which goes against the laws of shechitah, or kosher slaughter. The process is similar for some Muslim halal meat.

In nonkosher slaughterhouses, cattle are made unconscious, often by electric shock.

The organization Shechita U.K. lobbied European Parliament ministers to vote against the amendment and has vowed to continue those efforts.

Shechita U.K. claims that the price of kosher meat could skyrocket because the nonkosher market, which purchases 70 percent of kosher meat, might stop buying it because of the labeling.

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