Friday 07 October 2022

Chief rabbi criticises compromise on ritual slaughter

The Netherlands will become an unsuitable country for orthodox Jews if the government presses ahead with plans to place restrictions on ritual animal slaughter, according to the country’s chief rabbi.

The NRC has a copy of a letter written by rabbi Aryeh Ralbag to farm minister Henk Bleker who is in charge of the plan. In the letter, Ralbag says the future of the Jewish ritual is at stake.
Earlier this year, the minister, slaughterhouses and Islamic and Jewish organisations reached agreement on a covenant to improve animal welfare during ritual slaughter, heading off an outright ban.
Ralbag himself is not involved in the discussions.
The draft covenant involves exempting abattoirs from the ban if they can show animals died within 40 seconds.
Earlier this year, Amsterdam’s orthodox Jewish community temporarily suspended Ralbag from his position after he signed a controversial document describing homosexuality as an illness which can be cured.
What do you think about the debate? Have your say using the comment box below.

Thank you for donating to

The team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments. has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.