Young Israel Slams EU Court Decision Upholding Ritual Slaughter Ban

December 18, 2020

The National Council of Young Israel (NCYI) today sharply criticized a European Union (EU) court after it upheld Belgium’s ban on ritual slaughter. The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that a decision by two of Belgium’s three states which prohibits slaughtering animals without stunning them first did not constitute a violation of the EU’s standards regarding freedom of worship.


The EU court’s ruling comes despite a September 2020 opinion by the Advocate General of the Court of Justice of the European Union which condemned Belgium’s ban on ritual slaughter and stated that it improperly impairs the ability of Belgians to freely practice their religion.


“The European Union court’s discriminatory decision is a blatant attack on religious freedom that unjustly targets religious communities whose faith-based doctrines require ritual slaughter in order to produce meat that is permissible for consumption,” said NCYI President Farley Weiss. “By upholding a bigoted ban that adversely impacts both the Jewish and Muslim communities, the court has regrettably paved the way for other European nations to institute similar prohibitions that shamelessly trample on the ability of religious individuals to abide by the tenets of their faith. The anti-Semitic Belgian ban and subsequent EU court decision are barefaced violations of religious freedom and signify an excessive overreach of governmental power that sadly comes at the expense of Europe’s Jewish community.”


For the past 108 years, the National Council of Young Israel has ably served the broader Jewish community. With more than 25,000 member families and approximately 135 branch synagogues throughout the United States, Canada, and Israel, the National Council of Young Israel is a multi-faceted organization that embraces Jewish communal needs and often takes a leading role in tackling the important issues that face the Jewish community in North America and Israel.