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Last updated: 2003-06-10

Following the publication of the Farm Animal Welfare Council’s report today and, after consultation with the organisations listed below, the President of the Board of Deputies, Henry Grunwald QC, issued the following statement:

“The Jewish community is completely opposed to FAWC’s recommendation in favour of stunning. Such a practice would render an animal unacceptable in Jewish law and is completely contrary to Jewish religious requirements. We are saddened and angry that FAWC appears to have ignored the evidence that we have placed before them over the last few years.

“Many scientific experts have confirmed that the Jewish method of religious slaughter is at least as humane as any other method of slaughter. The right to practise Shechita is fundamental to religious observance and entirely consistent with the requirements of humaneness. We call on the Government to ensure that the rights of the Jewish community are respected and protected, and that Shechita can continue as hitherto.

“We will respond in detail to FAWC’s recommendations when we have had an opportunity of considering them, but the Jewish community is united in its opposition to any proposal which could prevent us from living in accordance with Jewish law and practice.”

The statement was also issued on behalf of the following organisations:

National Council of Shechita Boards
London Beth Din
Federation of Synagogues Beth Din
Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations