Next week Rabbis from all over Belgium are expected to present an appeal to the local parliament in an effort to remove the ban on Jewish Shechita in various regions throughout the country. The Rabbis are hoping that the judges will see the issue as impinging upon their religiu freedoms. Shoud the appeal be rejected, Halachic Shechita will be outlawed permanently throughout the country.
Chief Rabbi of Brussels, Rabbi Avraham Gigi, spoke to Israeli media outlet Kikar HaShabbat regarding the preparations that are being taken ahead of the appeal submission.
“Belgium is a country that is divided into distinct regions. There are three major regions and each region has its own autonomy and its own self-governing body for the most part. Each governing body can institute laws for their area. Two regions already issued a law stating that all slaughtering of animals must be done by using a tranquilizer, something which goes against halacha for proper shechita.”
Rabbi Gigi explained a bit about how the preparations for the appeal are being conducted. “We are submitting an appeal before the constitutional court in the hopes that they will revoke the current laws in the two regions who put them in place. We are claiming that this laws inhibits our freedom of religion. This is the first of our options. If this appeal doesn’t work we can then appeal the laws in the European Constitutional Court. Either way, we believe this appeal will take at least a year to complete.”
Should both the appeals fail, Rabbi Gigi said that the Jewish community would need to bring in kosher meat from other areas of Europe, increasing the price of the already expensive food staple.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)