The Polish prime minister, Donald Tusk, will set up a committee to investigate whether it is possible to re-establish ritual slaughter in Poland, Polish Ambassador to the EU Marek Prawda announced Thursday.
A bill that would re-instate shehita, or kosher slaughter, which has been illegal since the beginning of the year, was voted down by the lower house of the Polish parliament, the Sejm, on Friday.
The 1997 Act on the Relation of the State to the Jewish Communities in Poland protects religious slaughter for the local Jewish community, but it is currently unclear whether the law still applies.
Tusk’s commission will be headed by the minister of Administration and Digitization, Michał Jan Boni, who is also in charge of religious matters. Minister Boni has already instructed legal counsel to examine whether the legislation outlawing shehita for the purposes of export contradicts the Polish constitution, which guarantees freedom of religion.
Ambassador Prawda made the announcement following a meeting with the general director of the European Jewish Association, Rabbi Menachem Margolin, on Tuesday. He has invited Rabbi Margolin to join the committee.
There have also been meetings between rabbis from the Rabbinical Centre of Europe (RCE) and Polish ambassadors across the continent.
Rabbi Margolin said that the Polish Parliament’s decision to reject the shehita bill last week stemmed from its desire to protect animal rights, but that “once the Polish government understood that this is seen as an action against the Jews,” it decided to find an immediate solution.