• Rabbi Ariel Tal

Shechita Update in New Zealand!

Whether New Zealand’s shechita ban was humane, discriminatory, or mercenary are the themes raised by informants, the courts, and the media. Apparently, a mix of motives stimulated various parties (a neoliberal administration, meat exporters, animal rights groups, veterinary scientists, Jewish congregations, lawyers), to take their stances and jockey to protect their interests in regard to animals, meat export, culture, and religious rights. At the end of 2010 the exercise of legal power trumped all previous actions. When the court case was about to be heard, the Crown’s own lawyers suggested that the Minister of Agriculture had overstepped the boundaries of his position, and the government partially reversed the ban. The situation, at present unresolved, is likely to be raised again.

(Exerpt from article written by Hal Levine in 2013) https://www.nzfoi.org/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2013/08/NEW-ZEALANDS-BAN-ON-KOSHER-SLAUGHTERING.pdf)

The topic of Shechita in New Zealand is a very sensitive one. Ever since Rachel and I took the position of Rabbi and Rebbitzin of the WJCC, the topic of the proposed Shechita Ban in 2010 was always an issue that took front and centre. As Hal Levine wrote so eloquently in the above article, “The situation is at present unresolved, is likely to be raised again”. That is the awareness I had and continue to hold in front of my eyes as I took on the newly created role of National Shechita Manager. I am very aware that our Shechita needs to be in line with all of the New Zealand regulations in addition to the Halachic requirements, to keep the stauts quo.