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Minister's Turnaround on Shechita Slaughter

Tuesday, 14 December, 2010

ChickensWe are gravely concerned that Agriculture Minister David Carter has reversed a ban on the 'shechita' style of slaughter for chickens, after a decision in May this year that all commercially slaughtered chickens must be stunned before being killed. At the moment, the ban still remains on the shechita slaughter of sheep and cattle, but we remain troubled that this ban may also be overturned in future.

Shechita – or kosher – slaughter is when the arteries in the neck are severed and the blood allowed to drain, without stunning the animal prior to the act. It is similar to halal slaughter; however the halal meat industry in New Zealand practices pre-stunning.

There is no question that shechita slaughter is inhumane, with even Mr Carter acknowledging the practice is cruel. Allowing this style of ritual killing to continue will mean at least 5,000 chickens a year will suffer during slaughter, so a small section of the community has access to kosher meat. We find this absolutely unacceptable.

Because the shechita slaughter of chickens is now legal, we cannot take action against those who take part. We will however continue to lobby hard to reinstate the most humane conditions for all animals. If you are as concerned as we are by this turnaround, we would like to encourage you to contact David Carter on david.carter@national.org.nz, to voice your strong opposition.