Keeping Kosher in New Zealand

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I know very few things about New Zealand. I know that they have a ton of sheep. More sheep than you can count before you fall asleep. More sheep than people. A bunch load of sheep. They also love rugby. And they claim to speak English. Sure they do.

But now I can add another thing I know about New Zealand to the list. It is now illegal to slaughter kosher meat there. For serious. They join the ranks of other countries that have banned shechita like Iceland, Norway, and Sweden.

According to the country’s new animal welfare code, in order to legally slaughter commercial meat, the animal has to be stunned prior to it being killed, to minimize it’s pain. But that really isn’t how kosher slaughtering works. In fact, in order to make an animal’s meat kosher, they can’t be stunned.

The Jewish community in New Zealand had lobbied to make sure that there would be a special exception for kosher slaughtering, but their efforts failed.

Well, looking on the bright side, the Jewish community of New Zealand’s vegetarian community just grew exponentially.

Posted on June 2, 2010

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