JTA Reports: Slovenia’s National Assembly is set to vote on a proposed ban on all ritual slaughter, which the European Union member country’s government recently submitted for approval. Estonia, meanwhile, has reportedly imposed new restrictions on its already stringent slaughter policy.
Dr. Igor Vojtic, a member of the executive board of Slovenia’s Jewish community, told JTA that the proposed ban came in animal welfare amendments which the government adopted last month.
Vojtic said it was not certain that the amendments would pass the national assembly vote, which is expected to take place within six weeks to eight weeks.
The amendments state that animals may not undergo slaughter unless they are previously stunned. Both Islamic and Jewish law require animals to be conscious when their necks are cut.
The Slovenian Ministry of Agriculture has not replied to a letter from the Brussels-based European Jewish Parliament, which called the amendments a danger to freedom of worship in Slovenia, Vojtic said.
According to the Slovenian news site 24ur, the Association of Islamic communities of Slovenia also has protested against the proposed amendment.
Slovenia, which entered the European Union in 2004, has a Jewish population of 400, according to the European Jewish Congress. According to the CIA World Factbook, 2.5 percent of Slovenia’s population of two million people is Muslim.