London – It used to be that the battle against animal rights extremists were fought in each country, but since the founding of the European Union (EU), the battle has shifted to the EU. The organization that represents the kosher practice of slaughtering animals has lodged a complaint against a European Commission project that claims to facilitate the adoption of good religious slaughter practices. Schechita UK is accusing DIALREL, a project funded by the European Commission Directorate-General for Health and Consumers, of defaming the practice of schechita online. DIALREL aims to promote dialogue between faiths but Schechita UK chairman Henry Grunwald OBE QC said it has refused to remove defamatory information on a website affiliated with the project.
The website description says: “Schechita: Animals are slaughtered without stunning. Before slaughter, all cattle are restrained and mechanically turned on their back and all poultry shackled.” Schechita UK insists that the DIALREL project has an “anti-schechita” agenda and said it would be calling on the European Union to ensure that the project is not abusing government funding “to promote its own agenda by purporting to present academic research”. Grunwald said: “This matter has tainted DIALREL and Schechita UK can have no confidence in what is supposed to be an academic study.
In June 2009 the EU passed a law that safeguarded schechita by recognizing the validity of religious slaughter practices.