Animals In Print
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25 August 2010 Issue

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New Zealand Government Overturns Ban On Obscenely Cruel Ritual Slaughter...

Kosher Butchers

Kosher Butchers

Stephanie Dyer

In a decision that will appall animal advocates all over the world, the self-professed 'clean and green' New Zealand Government has overturned its decision to ban cruel Kosher slaughter, proving that it is anything but 'clean and green'. This cowardly decision sends a clear message to the world that New Zealand is a country that cares very little about how its animals are treated.

Clearly the New Zealand Government believed Kosher slaughter to be sufficiently cruel to impose the ban; what scientific, peer-reviewed evidence has been provided indicating that it is suddenly not cruel to cut the throat of a fully conscious, terrified animal?

The Jewish Community in New Zealand can now continue to kill terrified, conscious animals in the Kosher tradition, even though a new Animal Welfare Code effectively banned the barbaric practice in May this year. Kosher slaughter requires animals to have their throats cut without stunning, so animals are fully conscious during the slaughter process and feel every bit of the pain and terror of having their necks hacked at, through nerve and muscle tissue as they die choking on their own blood.

The commercial slaughter code introduced in May of this year, requires all animals to be stunned before they're killed in New Zealand, but now the New Zealand Government has reversed its decision under pressure from the Jewish community which prefers to slaughter animals in this hideous, unspeakable manner despite the new Animal Welfare Code New Zealand developed which bans the cruel Religious slaughter.

The New Zealand Minister of Agriculture, David Carter who banned the barbaric practice said, "But frankly I don't think any animal should suffer in the slaughter process," Now Carter has gone back on his word.

All commercially killed animals must be stunned before slaughter to "ensure that the animals are treated humanely", but now Minister Carter has done a back flip and clearly believes this hideously cruel slaughter practice is no longer cruel at all.

Other countries that have banned Kosher include Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland.

The Jewish Community in New Zealand can continue to kill animals in the kosher tradition, even though a new animal welfare code has effectively banned the method.

The commercial slaughter code introduced earlier this year into the country requires all animals to be stunned before they’re killed.

But the Jewish practice of shechita, requires animals to have their throats cut without stunning.

While shechita had been allowed under previous animal welfare rules, the new code means meat processed according to Jewish religious laws would have to be imported from Australia.

Lawyers for representatives of the Jewish community filed legal proceedings against the Minister of Agriculture last week, seeking a restoration of the right to practice the kosher tradition in New Zealand.

An agreement for relief from the code was reached in court on Monday.

The temporary arrangement will once again be challenged when the matter goes to trial next year.

Please email sample letter or feel free to amend, or write your own and email to recipients below:

New Zealand Prime Minister: John Key
New Zealand Minister for Agriculture: David Carter
Please CC to the New Zealand Greens: Sue Kedgley


TO: ([email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected])


I am writing to express my horror and disappointment after learning that the New Zealand Government is once again allowing cruel religious slaughter to be carried out, only months after it banned the obscenely cruel, and unspeakable Kosher slaughter practice.

Many progressive countries have lowered the bar on what is acceptable in civilised society to appease these extreme religious views, and New Zealand is now one of these countries.

Clearly the New Zealand Government believed Kosher slaughter to be sufficiently cruel to impose the ban; what scientific, peer-reviewed evidence has been provided indicating that it is suddenly not cruel to cut the throat of a fully conscious, terrified animal?

New Zealand had an opportunity to truly lead the way by banning a slaughter practice that is simply brutal. New Zealand's decision to overturn a ban on Kosher slaughter will now discourage other countries such as Australia from banning religious slaughter. Instead of the New Zealand Government leading the way in animal welfare it has now set a strong precedent to regions around the world that cruel slaughter practices are acceptable.

To deny the very animals that sustain us even the small amount of relief that stunning gives before the moment of death, is truly indefensible! We must have laws that everybody adhere to regardless of religion. How can one religion be exempted from the laws of the land but not another? The same laws should apply equally to all citizens and those laws should be evidence based and adhere to the highest ethical standards.

New Zealand has now sent a message worldwide, and that message is that animal cruelty is ok if it pleases certain religious groups. Laws designed to protect those who cannot protect themselves, including animals, should not be granted except in the most exceptional of circumstances, and religion is certainly not one of those circumstances.

The International market perceives New Zealand to be 'clean and green' and while a ban on cruel slaughter practices was in place New Zealand was considered 'caring'. However, now that the New Zealand Government has gone back on its word to ban unspeakable slaughter practices, its image shall be destroyed.

I shall not be buying New Zealand exports in any way, shape or form and shall encourage others to do the same.



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