Swiss Parliament to vote on whether to ban Halal, Kosher meat

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - The Swiss Parliament is to vote on whether to ban the import of kosher and halal meat in the country amid criticism from Jewish leaders.

The piece of legislation was introduced in June and would make it illegal to bring any meat into the country which was slaughtered in a manner deemed to be inhumane.

It would include both halal and kosher meat because the animal is conscious when they are slaughtered.

Herbert Winter, president of the Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities, told the Jewish Chronicle the bill would 'be a massive limitation on the religious freedoms of Jews' in Switzerland.

Last year, the population of Switzerland was 8.37million, of which 17,500 were Jewish and around 450,000 Muslims.

The act of religious slaughter in the neutral country has been banned since 1893, but at the moment the import of such products is legal despite a number of attempts to block it.

Despite the religious element to the vote, with Muslims eating halal and Jews eating kosher meats, the main point of contention appears to be the effect it would have on Swiss cuisine.

According to the Tages Anzeiger newspaper, the strongest opposition to the bill has come from those against it effectively banning foie gras and goose liver pâté, which is popular in Switzerland.

No date has been set for the vote.

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