Jewish groups may refuse to sign ritual slaughter covenant

Jewish organisations are considering refusing to sign the covenant on ritual slaughter currently being worked out by religious groups and government officials, Trouw reports on Wednesday.

The covenant to cover animal slaughter without anaesthetics is being drawn up by farm minister Henk Bleker together with the slaughterhouse association, Muslim group CMO and the Dutch-Israeli organisation NIK.
The covenant, a compromise proposal by Bleker to head off an outright ban on Muslim and Jewish practices, should have been finalised in March.
However, the NIK is unhappy at the appointment of Ludo Hellebrekers to chair the commission overseeing the covenant because he is also chairman of the Dutch veterinary society KNMvD, Trouw says.
As chairman of the vets group, Hellebrekers has said the ritual slaughter issue is about animal welfare, not freedom of religion or the interpretation of religious laws.
‘From the start we have said Hellebrekers is unacceptable,’ Ronnie Eisenmann of the Amsterdam Jewish Community group told the paper.
A spokesman for the minister told Trouw on Tuesday the covenant was almost finished.

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